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   Cruise Travel - Cruise News

Cruise Club is a free service, and when you join, you will begin receiving weekly updates including the latest cruise news and cruise specialsWelcome to this week's edition of Cruise News, the best place on the Web to find up-to-date information about cruises. To automatically receive Cruise News via email each week, join our Cruise Club.

For up to the minute news, stop by Cruise Talk anytime to post a message or find out what your fellow passengers and industry insiders are saying about a particular ship, cruise line or destination.


Cruise News - February 12, 2024

Princess Takes Delivery of New Sun Princess from Fincantieri; Additional Work in Shipyard Required to Support New February 28 Maiden Voyage
Princess Cruises today has taken delivery of Sun Princess, an entirely new ship platform designed by Fincantieri exclusively for the Princess brand.

The 175,500-ton, 4,300-guest Sun Princess is the most impressive luxurious and stunning Love Boat ever created, offering an array of exciting new entertainment and activities, as well as sensational staterooms and suites across a broad spectrum of categories. With the most balconies on any Princess ship, guests can take in the sunshine and crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean and Caribbean from the comfort of their stateroom. The Dome, a transformational entertainment venue inspired by the terraces of Santorini, is the perfect place to relax and the Arena! is an evolution and the most technologically advanced Princess Theater design.

The ship does need to remain alongside in the shipyard to allow for additional technical work to ensure an outstanding vacation is delivered. Accordingly, the cruise line regrettably is cancelling the February 18 voyage. Sun Princess now will make its maiden voyage on February 28 from Rome.

Guests who were booked on the February 18 voyage will receive a full refund of the cruise fare along with any additional onboard services that were pre-purchased, as well as a 50% future cruise credit (FCC) that can be used on a future Princess voyage*.

The cruise brand is also offering financial reimbursement for select travel costs for guests who have already arrived ahead of their sailing and for guests who have not yet started their travel certain changes fees related to flights.

Carnival Announces Godmother of Carnival Jubilee
Carnival Cruise Line announced today that global music superstar Gwen Stefani will be honored as the godmother of Carnival's new flagship, Carnival Jubilee, at a naming ceremony and celebration in Galveston, Texas on Saturday, Feb. 24.

A three-time GRAMMY Award winner, Gwen Stefani has achieved global success as a songwriter, performer, charismatic frontwoman of No Doubt, and as a multi-platinum solo artist. Throughout it all, Stefani has remained a trend-setting music and fashion icon with an impressive array of honors – four MTV Video Music Awards, two Billboard Awards, an American Music Award, and a Brit Award. To date, she's sold more than 60 million units worldwide. Stefani also returned for her seventh season as a coach on the Emmy®-winning NBC series The Voice this past fall.

Stefani is also recognized for her philanthropic work, including her support of children's causes.

"We are absolutely thrilled to be welcoming Gwen Stefani onto Carnival Jubilee so we can honor her as the ship's godmother," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "She has demonstrated her commitment to our Carnival values, including promoting diversity and inclusion, supporting charitable causes, being a leader in her field, and of course, having fun. We are going to show her an enthusiastic welcome in only the way Carnival can when she joins us on February 24."

"I am honored to be the godmother of the new Carnival Jubilee," said Stefani. "Carnival is taking it to the next level of fun while being committed to children's causes and supporting our military families and veterans."

Carnival Jubilee entered service on Dec. 23, 2023 and is homeported year-round from the Port of Galveston. The ship is the third of Carnival's Excel class, is powered on a liquefied natural gas (LNG) technology platform and can hold 6500 guests and 1750 crew.

The naming ceremony is an invitation-only event that will be held on board the ship. A portion of the event will be broadcast live on Carnival's Facebook page starting at 3:30 CST on Feb. 24.

Princess Announces The Love Boat Themed Cruise with Iconic Original Cast
Princess Cruises, known for its integral role as the ocean-going co-star in the iconic "The Love Boat" series, has officially unveiled a second themed cruise, reuniting cast members from the original show.

Following the tremendous success of the inaugural Love Boat cruise in 2022, fans of the popular show can sail along with Doc, Gopher, Isaac and Vicki Stubing as they cruise roundtrip from New York to Canada & New England aboard Enchanted Princess, August 31-September 7, 2024.

Princess Cruises Celebrations Ambassador Jill Whelan (aka Vicki Stubing) will join fellow Love Boat cast members including Bernie Kopell (Doc), Fred Grandy (Gopher), and Ted Lange (Isaac). Ezra Freeman, the bartender from the recently aired The Real Love Boat on CBS reality dating series, will join the cast, along with other surprise guests to be announced.

Highly anticipated Love Boat-themed activities, include:

• Sailaway party introducing the cast

• Meet-and-greet photo and signing opportunities

• The Love Boat-inspired guest activities with prizes

• Cocktail demonstration hosted by Ezra Freeman and Ted Lange – practice the finger point!

• Symbolic renewal of vows ceremony, officiated by the cast, with commemorative certificate

• Cast Q&As sharing favorite memories of the show and stories of their careers

• The Love Boat episodes airing on Movies Under the Stars and in staterooms

• The Love Boat trivia with the Cruise Director

• The Love Boat inspired menus and specialty cocktails

• Themed décor, photo backdrops and merchandise

"We had such a blast connecting with fans on our theme cruise in 2022, so bringing it back in 2024 feels like it was meant to be, especially with the addition of some surprise guests," said Jill Whelan, Celebrations Ambassador for Princess Cruises. "Sailing with our fans brings us so much joy and this cruise will undoubtedly be a special reunion, taking us back to where it all began – on a Princess Cruise."

Super fans may opt for a special Love Boat VIP Package, featuring an invitation to an exclusive cast cocktail party, reserved seating for the cast Q&A in the Princess Theater, front-of-the-line access for autographs and photos, dinner at the Captain's Table, plus a themed cruise t-shirt and mug. More details on cost and how to book coming soon.

The seven-day Canada/New England Love Boat theme cruise aboard the 3,660-guest Enchanted Princess sails roundtrip from New York City and visits Newport, Rhode Island; Boston; Rockland, Maine; Saint John, Canada (for Bay of Fundy); and Halifax, Canada.

The Love Boat is credited with bringing cruising to the masses and showcasing the romance of the sea, taking Hollywood's biggest stars to sought-after destinations as story lines always ended on a happy note. In the fall of 2022, Princess was featured again as the setting of The Real Love Boat on CBS and Paramount+, reality dating adventure series where three real-life Princess crew members and 12 singles looking for love joined hosts Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell onboard Regal Princess sailing through the Mediterranean.

Carnival Vista Enhanced With New Livery, Heroes Bar, Retail Stores and Expanded Casino
Carnival Vista is returning to her homeport of Port Canaveral, Fla. following a 30-day dry dock where she received several enhancements including Carnival’s signature red, white and blue hull livery, a new Heroes Tribute Bar & Lounge, retail stores, a teen club, arcade and expanded casino.

On the exterior, Carnival Vista now sports Carnival’s signature red, white and blue livery on her hull. Among several interior public areas refreshed, one of the most significant new features is the addition of a Heroes Tribute Bar & Lounge, which is an expanding venue across the Carnival fleet and honors military veterans and active-duty service members. The casino was expanded with a new layout and a separate non-smoking annex has also been added.

For shoppers, there’s an all-new Effy Jewelry store and a new Cherry on Top. A new Club O2 for teens was created in a new location and the ship’s arcade was relocated and redone as well. The Lido Marketplace was also refreshed with a new look.

The 4,000-guest Carnival Vista will resume year-round sailing from Port Canaveral, offering mostly six- and eight-day itineraries that feature popular destinations, including Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; Aruba; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Maarten and St. Thomas. The vessel is part of Carnival’s four-ship deployment in Central Florida, which is also home to Carnival Freedom, Carnival Liberty and Mardi Gras.

Carnival Orders Fourth Excel-class Ship for Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Corporation today announced it has signed an agreement with leading German shipbuilder Meyer Werft to build a fourth Excel class cruise ship for its namesake Carnival Cruise Line brand. The ship, the 10th Excel class ship in the corporation’s fleet across four of its world-class brands, is expected to enter service in Spring 2027.

Joining current Carnival Cruise Line Excel-class ships Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration and Carnival Jubilee, the new 180,000-ton ship will carry over 6,400 guests and be powered on a liquefied natural gas (LNG) technology platform. This new ship is the first newbuild order placed by Carnival Corporation in five years.

“Our Excel class ships have been a tremendous addition to the Carnival fleet and proven very popular with our guests,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “As the world’s most popular cruise line, this new ship enables us to continue the growth of our incredible fleet as we welcome our loyal guests back to cruise more frequently and attract new-to-cruise guests to experience all that a Carnival cruise has to offer.”

“Building on our strong performance and growing momentum around the world, we are excited to resume our newbuild program and further enhance our global fleet with yet another state-of-the-art ship that will wow Carnival Cruise Line’s guests,” said Josh Weinstein, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “With one newbuild scheduled for delivery in 2025, none for 2026, and this order being our only expected newbuild in 2027, our responsible capital approach will support utilizing our substantial free cash flow over the next several years to strategically improve our balance sheet, significantly reduce our leverage levels and continue to transfer value from debt holders to shareholders.

“We are following through on our measured capacity growth strategy, with the addition of one to two ships per year beginning in 2027 which will be allocated to our cruise lines that most need the capacity to satisfy outsized demand, delivering an attractive payback period. We also remain focused on driving revenue growth throughout our portfolio of world-class cruise lines by continuing to improve execution across all aspects of our operation, yielding higher return on invested capital,” said Weinstein.

“We are very pleased that the partnership between the MEYER Group and Carnival Corporation will continue with this new order," said Bernd Eikens, CEO MEYER Group.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.49 - 2.15%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 117.02 - 3.46%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 16.64 - 2.92%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the cruise ship that was was overtaken by terrorists in 1985? One passenger was killed in the incident. Also, what was her original name?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When the former American Export liner Constitution returned to service for American Hawaii cruises in 1982 she was rechristened by one of her famous former passengers. Who was given this honor?

Answer - It was Princess Grace of Monaco who rechristened SS Constitution in 1982. As Grace Kelly, she had sailed to Europe aboard SS Constitution to marry Prince Ranier in 1956. Sadly Princess Grace was killed in an auto accident later in 1982. courtesy of Brian O'Leary, Montreal, Canada


Cruise News - February 5, 2024

Royal Caribbean Group Reports 2023 Results
Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) today reported 2023 Earnings per Share ("EPS") of $6.31 and Adjusted EPS of $6.77. These results were better than the company's guidance due to stronger close-in demand. The strength is continuing into 2024 with Adjusted EPS expected to be in the range of $9.50 to $9.70 per share.

"2023 was an exceptional year, propelled by unmatched demand for our brands from new and loyal guests," said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. "With the wind in our sails and record-breaking bookings, 2024 is poised to be another robust year, and we expect to achieve two of our Trifecta goals one year early," added Liberty. "With our industry-leading global brands combined with the most innovative fleet and destinations, we remain intensely focused on delivering a lifetime of vacations and priceless memories for our guests while delivering exceptional long-term shareholder value."

Full Year 2023 Results:

• Gross Margin Yields increased 13.2% as-reported. Net Yields increased 13.5% in Constant Currency (13.2% as-reported). Both metrics are compared to 2019.

• Gross Cruise Costs per Available Passenger Cruise Day ("APCD") increased 10.9% as-reported. Net Cruise Costs ("NCC"), excluding Fuel, per APCD increased 7.9% in Constant Currency (7.5% as-reported). Both metrics are compared to 2019, and include approximately 65 bps, compared to prior guidance, related to increase in stock compensation expense due to the significant rise in share price.

• Total revenues were $13.9 billion, Net Income was $1.7 billion or $6.31 per share, Adjusted Net Income was $1.8 billion or $6.77 per share, and Adjusted EBITDA was $4.5 billion.

Full Year 2024 Outlook:

• WAVE season is off to a record start. Booked load factors and rates are higher than all prior years.

• Net Yields are expected to increase 5.25% to 7.25% in Constant Currency (5.30% to 7.30% as-reported), compared to 2023.

• NCC, excluding Fuel, per APCD is expected to increase 3.75% to 4.25% in Constant Currency (3.80% to 4.30% as-reported) compared to 2023, and include 315 bps of costs related to increased drydock days and the new operations of Hideaway Beach at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

• Adjusted EPS is expected to grow 40% year over year and be in the range of $9.50 to $9.70.

• Royal Caribbean said that it expects to achieve two of its Trifecta goals in 2024: triple digit EBITDA per APCD and ROIC in the teens, one year earlier than prior expectations.

Fourth Quarter 2023 Results

Net Income for the fourth quarter of 2023 was $0.3 billion or $1.06 per share compared to Net Loss of $(0.5) billion or $(1.96) per share for the same period in the prior year. Adjusted Net Income was $0.3 billion or $1.25 per share for the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to Adjusted Net Loss of $(0.3) billion or $(1.12) per share for the same period in the prior year. Royal Caribbean said that it also reported total revenues of $3.3 billion and Adjusted EBITDA of $1.0 billion.

Gross Margin Yields increased 30.9% as-reported, and Net Yields increased 17.9% in Constant Currency (17.3% as-reported) when compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Load factor for the quarter was 105%.

Gross Cruise Costs per APCD increased 9.7% as-reported, compared to 2019. NCC, excluding Fuel, per APCD increased 6.7% in Constant Currency (6.2% as-reported), when compared to 2019 and included approximately 250 bps related to increase in stock compensation expense compared to prior guidance due to the significant rise in share price.

Full Year 2023 Results

For the full year 2023, Royal Caribbean said that it reported Net Income of $1.7 billion or $6.31 per share compared to Net Loss of $(2.2) billion or $(8.45) per share in the prior year. The company also reported Adjusted Net Income of $1.8 billion or $6.77 per share for the full year 2023 compared to Adjusted Net Loss of $(1.9) billion or $(7.50) per share in the prior year.

Gross Margin Yields increased 13.2% as-reported, and Net Yields increased 13.5% in Constant Currency (13.2% as-reported) when compared to 2019.

Gross Cruise Costs per APCD increased 10.9% as-reported and NCC, excluding Fuel, per APCD increased 7.9% in Constant Currency (7.5% as-reported), compared to 2019, and included 65 bps related to increase in stock compensation expense due to the significant rise in share price, compared to prior guidance.

Update on Bookings

Royal Caribbean said that it is very encouraged about the demand and pricing environment for 2024. Overall, the five best booking weeks of the company's history have occurred since the last earnings call, including the first three weeks of WAVE. As a result, Royal Caribbean said that it is now in a record booked position in both rate and volume. The booking strength is widespread benefiting all key itineraries. Consumer spending onboard and pre-cruise purchases continue to exceed prior years driven by greater participation at higher prices, indicating quality and healthy future demand.

The market response to the company's new ships (particularly Icon of the Seas), existing hardware and the expansion of Perfect Day at CocoCay (with Hideaway Beach) has been excellent and further positions the company for strong yield and earnings growth in 2024.

"Demand for our brands continues to outpace broader travel as a result of consumer spend further shifting toward experiences and the exceptional value proposition of our products," said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. "We have exciting new vacation experiences in 2024, including the game changing Icon of the Seas, and have entered the year in a record booked position at significantly higher prices, further positioning us for a strong 2024."

As of December 31, 2023, the Group's customer deposit balance was at $5.3 billion.

First Quarter 2024

Net Yields are expected to increase 15.2% to 15.7% in Constant Currency (15.3% to 15.8% as-reported) compared to 2023. First quarter yield growth is benefiting from both Load factor catch up and the annualization of pricing power that began during WAVE of 2023.

NCC, excluding Fuel, per APCD, is expected to increase 7.10% to 7.60% in Constant Currency (7.20% to 7.70% as-reported) compared to 2023 and includes 380 bps of costs related to increased drydock days and the operations of Hideaway Beach.

Based on current fuel pricing, interest rates, currency exchange rates and the factors detailed above, Royal Caribbean said that it expects first quarter Adjusted EPS to be in the range of $1.10 to $1.20.

Liverpool Chosen to Host Naming Ceremony for Cunard's New Queen Anne
Cunard's spiritual home* is to host the spectacular Naming Ceremony for its newest ship Queen Anne.

The event will take place on the world-famous Mersey waterfront at Liverpool on Monday, June 3 during a celebratory "lap of honor" voyage around the British Isles.

Cunard's hosts** for the momentous spectacle will be none other than Busted musician, Matt Willis, and his TV presenter wife, Emma Willis. The power couple of British pop culture recorded this message revealing what guests can expect from the event.

Queen Anne's Naming Ceremony

Queen Anne is expected to arrive on the Mersey soon after sunrise on what promises to be the most eagerly awaited port of call on the exclusive 14-night voyage.

Plans are being made for her arrival to include a special salute to the city where Cunard's pioneering Transatlantic service – and passenger shipping itself – was launched in 1840, and where the iconic Cunard Building forms the centerpiece of the Three Graces.

The 14-night British Isles Festival Voyage will depart Southampton on May 24 with maiden calls to Edinburgh (South Queensferry), Invergordon, Greenock, Belfast, and Liverpool where guests sailing on the voyage will have an exclusive opportunity to join the Naming celebrations before a spectacular, late evening departure bound for Cobh followed by her return to Southampton.

The formal Naming will be the highlight of a day of celebration for Queen Anne, currently nearing completion in Italy.

The event in Liverpool is expected to draw tens of thousands of spectators to vantage points alongside the river at Pier Head, between New Brighton and Seacombe on Wirral, and on beaches at Formby and Crosby in Sefton. A live global broadcast will ensure the eyes of the world once again fall on a Cunard event in Liverpool.

Cunard ships have previously attracted more than a million spectators to the banks of the Mersey, first for the maiden call of the renowned QE2 in July 1990, and 2015 for the Three Queens 'royal rendezvous' in front of the Cunard Building to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the most famous name in shipping.

The British Isles Festival Voyage

Guests on the voyage will have an exclusive chance to be part of a unique event in Cunard's history that will include a host of surprise celebrations at Liverpool's world-famous Pier Head, with the original iconic Cunard Building at its heart.

An impressive line-up of eminent entertainers will give unforgettable live performances surrounding the official naming as Queen Anne makes her maiden call into Cunard's spiritual home.

The 14-night British Isles Festival voyage will depart Southampton on May 24 with maiden calls to Greenock, Belfast, Cork, and Liverpool and a program of exciting on-board experiences that showcase the best of Britain and Ireland's shores. The events in Liverpool will be a truly treasured memory for Cunard, on the historical waterfront of a city the brand has such an incredible bond with.

Katie McAlister, President of Cunard, said: "Cunard has an incredible bond with the city of Liverpool. It is where our founder Sir Samuel Cunard began his transatlantic line in 1840, so what better place to officially name our new ship than somewhere that holds so many special memories? Queen Anne is the next in a fine line for our brand and she will be bursting with breath-taking moments around every corner, evolving our core values of luxury, sophistication, and glamour. Liverpool is known the world over as Cunard's spiritual home and we are all so excited for the city to see Queen Anne up close on her maiden call."

Matt and Emma Willis added: "We're delighted to be part of such a fantastic occasion and can't wait to join everyone in Liverpool for an exciting and action-packed day, full of surprises and celebrations. Mersey waterfront will be brought to life on June 3, as world famous entertainers are set to put on a spectacular show. It's going to be a day to remember, and we can't wait to welcome the fourth Queen to the iconic Cunard fleet."

Councillor Liam Robinson, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said: "It's a huge honor for Liverpool to be chosen as the location for the official naming of Queen Anne. The city and Cunard share a rich history, we are the original home of the world-famous cruise line and we staged the incredible spectacle of the Three Queens on the Mersey in 2015, which lives long in many people's memories. This is yet another prestigious, international event taking place in our city, casting Liverpool into the limelight once again and showcasing our enviable maritime offer. The naming ceremony is set to be a majestic sight and I'm sure it will attract huge crowds to the waterfront who want to be part of this unique moment in ours and Cunard's history."

Further details of timings, activities, and spectator information for Queen Anne's visit to Liverpool will be published in due course.

Carnival Announces 22-day Voyage From Seattle to Sydney
As it continues to offer guests more diversity in itinerary offerings, Carnival Cruise Line today announced a new transpacific Carnival Journeys cruise for 2025 on Carnival Luminosa. When the ship repositions from its Alaska season and returns to Australia, it will sail a 22-day voyage that visits breathtaking destinations, including Hawaii and several South Pacific islands.

The new sailing’s itinerary begins with a departure from Seattle, Wash. on Sept. 18, 2025, with Carnival Luminosa arriving in Sydney, Australia on Oct. 11, 2025. Destinations during the cruise include Honolulu, Hawaii; Papeete (Tahiti) and Moorea, French Polynesia along with Noumea, New Caledonia. To see more details about this sailing, click here.

This is the latest addition to the expanding Carnival Journeys program, special sailings that feature unique travel experiences and destinations. Carnival continues to tap into interest from guests in longer sailings by adding unique voyages around ship repositionings and dry dock schedules. The Carnival Journeys program currently offers five other transpacific sailings open for sale, with four set to sail this year and another in 2025. Additionally, nine transatlantic Carnival Journeys cruises are open for sale – with three scheduled this year and six for 2025. A sample of currently available ocean-crossing cruises is as follows:

Additional Transpacific Cruises Currently Available

• 18-day from Long Beach (Los Angeles), Calif. to Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan on Carnival Panorama departing Aug. 22, 2024

• 29-day from Brisbane, Australia to Seattle, Wash. on Carnival Luminosa departing April 3, 2025

Additional Transatlantic Cruises Currently Available

• 12-day from Baltimore, Md. to Barcelona, Spain on Carnival Legend departing April 15, 2024

• 14-day from Barcelona, Spain to Port Canaveral (Orlando), Fla. on Carnival Glory departing April 18, 2024

• 14-day from Barcelona, Spain to Miami, Fla. on Carnival Spirit departing March 16, 2025

• 16-day from New Orleans, La. to Barcelona, Spain on Carnival Valor departing April 24

• 14-day from Port Canaveral (Orlando), Fla. to Barcelona, Spain on Mardi Gras departing Sept. 13, 2025

Villa Vie Residences Secures Dry Dock and Operational Partners
Villa Vie Residences (VVR), the innovative new world cruise brand and residential community at sea, has announced they will send their ship Villa Vie Odyssey to Belfast in cooperation with Harland & Wolff in early March. This voyage marks the beginning of an extraordinary journey, and they have partnered with industry leaders to ensure an unparalleled experience.

VVR CEO Mikael Petterson states, "We are beyond excited to take possession of our beautiful Odyssey and head to the Belfast Yard with such amazing history." Mikael Continues, "We are hiring only the best operational partners in the industry to execute on our aggressive timeline."

VVR has enlisted Columbia Blue to oversee both Technical and Hotel operations, bringing their 35-year expertise managing hundreds of ships worldwide to the VVR family. Julia Siebert, Managing Director of Columbia Cruise Services, eagerly anticipates setting sail on May 15th, stating, "We are excited to join the Villa Vie family and are looking forward to getting the ship ready to sail in May."

For the ship's dry dock and refurbishment, VVR has chosen the historic Belfast yard, where the iconic Titanic was built. This 10-week transformation promises to be a captivating journey in itself. Villa Vie Residences have planned ship visits and events in Belfast for Journalists and Residents on March 23rd-24th.

VVR has also partnered with VIKAND Solutions for onboard medical services, a company renowned for managing over 4,000 daily medical encounters at sea and supporting over 300,000 crew members and passengers worldwide. "Villa Vie Residences presents a very unique opportunity for VIKAND to expand our medical services and support such a unique lifestyle and the challenges that come with it," says Peter Hult – Founder & CEO VIKAND Solutions.

Reliable Maritime Solutions will act as technical superintendents, ensuring the reactivation and project's overall success, bringing over 50 years of combined maritime operations and compliance experience to the table.

Carnival Corporation Announces Ambitious 2024 Greenhouse Gas Intensity Reduction Projections
Carnival Corporation today announced it is on pace to achieve an overall 18% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity on a lower berth capacity basis in 2024 (compared to 2019) – just a few points shy of its 20% reduction goal originally targeted for 2030. By year end, the company expects to have reduced its GHG emission intensity by an impressive 42% on a lower berth capacity basis since its first benchmark in 2008. The company also expects this performance to put it ahead of the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) 2030 carbon intensity reduction timeline.

This announcement follows the company's decision last year to accelerate its stated 2030 GHG intensity reduction goal by four years, committing to at least a 20% cut on a lower berth capacity basis by 2026 (versus 2019 levels). Thanks to the company's aggressive, longstanding, and ongoing actions to be more energy efficient, reduce overall fuel use, and operate using emission-reducing technologies and lower-emission fuels, Carnival Corporation is producing 10+% less total GHG emissions today than its peak historical year (2011), despite increasing capacity by roughly 30% since that time.

How It's Being Done

Carnival Corporation is executing on two parallel paths to achieve these significant reductions.

First, the company recognizes that using less fuel is the fastest way to reduce GHG emissions and make a tangible impact. Since cruise ships generate their electricity from fuel, Carnival Corporation set out to uncover every area where energy can be saved and cut the amount of fuel used. As a result, the company has implemented several fuel- and energy-saving innovations and continues to invest in improvements to drive further reductions. This includes:

• Upgrading the fleet with innovative technology packages, including modern and efficient HVAC systems, state-of-the-art LED and smart lighting technologies, remote monitoring improvements and more to reduce fuel usage by 5-10% per ship.

• Optimizing hull design and special coatings to minimize drag for greater fuel efficiency.

• Developing more energy-efficient itineraries, fine-tuning hydrodynamics, and using ocean currents and techniques such as weather routing and speed reduction where possible.

• Using shoreside electric power capabilities when available in port – over 60% of the company's ships are equipped to switch off their engines and "plug in" to local power grids while docked to reduce emissions and noise in port.

• Installing Air Lubrication Systems (ALS) to help ships glide on a cushion of air bubbles with less friction, reducing fuel use for propulsion by up to 5%.

At the same time, lacking zero-emission fuels broadly available to the maritime industry and with fossil fuels as the only viable option at scale today, Carnival Corporation has continued to look for ways to lower GHG and other emissions from the fuel already used while also pioneering lower-emission alternatives and actively exploring new technologies to power its ships. This includes:

• Leading the industry with nine Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)-capable ships in service and two more on order. This is delivering immediate GHG reductions, reducing direct carbon emissions by up to 20%, almost eliminating sulfur dioxides and significantly reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

• Improving air emissions with Advanced Air Quality Systems to "scrub" particulate matter and other compounds from ships' exhaust.

• Trialing advanced fuel technologies, including a first-of-its-kind lithium-ion battery storage system, testing fuel cells powered by hydrogen derived from methanol and leading the industry in piloting biofuels as a fossil fuel replacement.

Environmental Commitment

Overall, the company continues to invest significantly in its deep-rooted commitment to protecting its communities, vibrant marine ecosystems, and scenic spaces. This includes ongoing reductions in GHG emissions from its operations and its strategy to pursue net zero emissions from ship operations by 2050 as part of its long-term sustainability vision and commitment to leading the way in sustainable cruising.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.83 - 4.35%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 121.21 - 4.85%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 17.14 - 3.49%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When the former American Export liner Constitution returned to service for American Hawaii cruises in 1982 she was rechristened by one of her famous former passengers. Who was given this honor?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the former Holland America liner that along with QE2 ended up being one of last two passenger ships to cross the Atlantic on a regular basis. What was her name when she was retired in 1988 and whom did she sail for?

Answer - The STEFAN BATORY or Polish Ocean Lines was the last vessel with regularly scheduled trans-atlantic service (aside from the QE2). In her earlier Holland America life she was named MAASDAM. courtesy of Christopher in L.A


Cruise News - January 29, 2024

Royal Caribbean and Lionel Messi Celebrate Icon of the Seas
Less than a week shy of Royal Caribbean International's 55th anniversary, the cruise line and world-renowned sports icon Lionel Messi – The Icon of Icon – officially debuted the all-new Icon of the Seas at a standout naming celebration in Miami. The first-of-its-kind combination of the best of every vacation was the star of the show, as the most decorated fútbol player in history bestowed safekeeping onto the world's best family vacation, the dedicated crew and the millions of families who will make memories on board for years to come.

"Family is everything to me, and it was exciting to take part in welcoming what is the world's best family vacation to Miami," said Lionel Messi, Royal Caribbean's Icon of Icon. "Everything I've seen on Icon of the Seas is next level. There are experiences for the whole family to make memories that they'll remember forever."

The milestone moment seven years in the making, hosted by four-time Emmy award-winning host Mario Lopez, was held in the AquaDome neighborhood – an engineering and experiential feat in itself that represents the record-setting lineup of experiences in store on Icon. Ringing in the new era of vacations was Royal Caribbean executives, crew, employees, fans and partners, including Meyer Turku shipyard and Inter Miami CF.

"Icon of the Seas is the culmination of more than 50 years of dreaming, innovating and living our mission – to deliver the world's best vacation experiences responsibly. She is the ultimate multigenerational family vacation, forever changing the status quo in family travel and fulfilling vacation dreams for all ages on board," said Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO Jason Liberty. "With Lionel Messi presiding over the ship's naming, we are thrilled and honored to have someone iconic for delivering memories for millions of fútbol fans around the world and who values making iconic memories with his family even more."

Messi, the only eight-time Ballon d'Or award-winner and TIME's 2023 Athlete of the Year, inaugurated the highly anticipated vacation with a bottle breaking fit for an icon that has set records in its own right. When first revealed in October 2022, Icon spurred the single largest booking day and the highest volume booking week in the cruise line's then 53-year history. The Icon of Icon was also joined on stage by President and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group Jason Liberty, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International Michael Bayley and Icon's captain, Henrik Loy.

"We did it! After seven years of pursuing the bold vision to create a one-of-a-kind vacation for every type of family and adventurer, Icon of the Seas has become a reality," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Officially naming Icon marks more than the introduction of a new ship; it is the start of a new era of vacations, and we're excited to see tens of millions of families and friends make their mark with memories they create together and on their own adventures without compromise."

In store on Icon is an all-encompassing lineup of experiences that combines the best of every vacation – from the beach retreat to the resort escape and the theme park adventure. Across eight neighborhoods that are destinations in and of themselves are firsts and next-level favorites for everyone day and night, including adrenaline-pumping thrills like six record-breaking waterslides at Category 6 and the Crown's Edge experience at 154 feet above the ocean, and unrivaled ways to chill with seven pools – one for every day of the week – like the first suspended infinity pool at sea. The game-changing experiences also include a stay-all-day neighborhood designed for families with young kids, more than 40 restaurants, bars and lounges; deck-defying entertainment across air, ice, water and theater; and more.

On Saturday, Jan. 27, vacationers will get away on the new vacation for the first time and island hop in the tropics. Each 7-night Eastern or Western Caribbean adventure from Miami features idyllic destinations in the Caribbean and an unmatched day of thrill and chill at Royal Caribbean's award-winning private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas. Plus, dialing up the perfect on Perfect Day in January 2024 is the private island's first adults-only escape, Hideaway Beach, an all-day experience complete with a private beach and pools, new dedicated spots for drinks and bites, exclusive cabanas, live music and more.

Carnival Jubilee Rescues Two Men Stranded on Kayak in Gulf of Mexico
Carnival Jubilee's team rescued two men who were stranded in a kayak in the Gulf of Mexico today. The men said their boat sank, and they used the kayak to stay afloat.

The ship’s team members spotted the two men off the coast of Isla Mujeres, Mexico and quickly rescued them. They were welcomed onto the ship safely and were evaluated by the ship’s medical staff and given first aid and food.

The ship’s team and Carnival’s Fleet Operation Center staff in Miami kept in close contact with Mexican Navy officials and arranged a transfer, which was completed shortly after the rescue.

Carnival Jubilee is proceeding with its regular schedule and will visit Mahogany Bay, Roatan on Tuesday.

Holland America Takes Cruisers to Australia and New Zealand in 2025-2026
For guests dreaming of a cruise vacation to the Land Down Under, Holland America Line's Australia and New Zealand season sailing from November 2025 to March 2026 is now open for booking. From vibrant capital cities to captivating scenery, Holland America Line's cruises to Australia and New Zealand are a tapestry of diverse landscapes and unique cultures.

Collectors' Voyages combine a 14-day cruise Down Under with a Legendary Voyage to create an extended vacation

The 14-day itineraries aboard Noordam allow travelers to easily journey between the two countries and visit the best locales in the region — all while experiencing Holland America Line's award-winning service and authentic, localized programming. New Collectors' Voyages combine a two-week cruise with an epic Legendary Voyage to the South Pacific, creating a longer vacation up to 50 days across several cruising regions.

"Australia and New Zealand are excellent options for cruisers looking for global destinations, iconic cities and wild wonders," said Beth Bodensteiner, Holland America Line's chief commercial officer. "We craft our cruises to showcase the best of each region. With these voyages, guests can immerse themselves in New Zealand in a port-intensive itinerary that also features scenic cruising through Milford Sound, or they can see wildlife like penguins and kangaroos while exploring South Australia."

Holland America Line's Australia and New Zealand cruises sail roundtrip from Sydney, Australia, or between Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand.

Highlights of the 2025-2026 Australia and New Zealand Season

• All cruises are aboard Noordam.

• "Australia and New Zealand" — 14 days, between Sydney and Auckland:
- Departures in November, February and March.
- Combination of ports in Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand:
- All cruises call at Melbourne, Australia; Hobart and/or Burnie, Tasmania; and Tauranga, Napier and Port Chalmers (Dunedin), New Zealand.
- Additional New Zealand ports include a combination of Picton, Wellington, Timaru, Lyttelton (Christchurch) and Waitangi.

• "New Zealand Discovery" — 14 days, roundtrip from Sydney:
- Departs Dec. 7, 2025.
- All New Zealand Ports: Auckland, Waitangi, Tauranga, Gisborne, Napier, Wellington, Lyttelton (Christchurch) and Port Chalmers (Dunedin).

• "South Australia Discovery Holiday" — 14 days, roundtrip from Sydney:
- Departs Dec. 21, 2025.
- Melbourne, Phillip Island, Eden, Adelaide and Penneshaw, Australia; Burnie, Port Arthur and Hobart (late departure), Tasmania.

• All itineraries that visit New Zealand include scenic cruising in the stunning Milford Sound located within Fiordland National Park.

• Holland America Line's Global Fresh Fish Program brings native fresh fish and other local ingredients on board like New Zealand green lipped muscles, Tasmanian Atlantic salmon, Sydney rock oysters and Tasmanian meat pies.

• Book Back-to-Back Cruises with a Collectors' Voyage Noordam will sail five Collectors' Voyages that combine back-to-back, nonrepeating itineraries that allow guests to explore multiple areas in one seamless voyage. These Collectors' Voyages range between 28 and 50 days and merge two 14-day Australia and New Zealand cruises, or one14-day Australia and New Zealand cruise with a Legendary Voyage to the South Pacific.

41-day "South Pacific Crossing & New Zealand" Collectors' Voyage

• Departs Oct. 12, 2025; from Seattle, Washington, to Auckland.

28-day "New Zealand & South Australia Discovery" Collectors' Voyage

• Departs Dec. 7, 2025; roundtrip from Sydney.

42-day "South Australia & South Pacific Islands" Collectors' Voyage

• Departs Dec. 21, 2025; from Sydney to Auckland.

42-day "South Pacific Islands & New Zealand" Collectors' Voyage

• Departs Jan. 4, 2026; roundtrip from Sydney.

50-day "New Zealand & South Pacific Crossing" Collectors' Voyage

• Departs March 1, 2026; from Auckland to Seattle.

Carnival's New Celebration Key to Feature Five Distinct Areas
The new cruise destination everyone is buzzing about is getting a closer look as Carnival Cruise Line today revealed further details of Celebration Key™, the new exclusive destination on Grand Bahama designed to offer guests a key for unlocking their type of paradise.

Honoring the natural beauty and culture of Grand Bahama, Celebration Key will deliver endless opportunities for relaxation and recreation across five distinct areas called portals, featuring the largest freshwater lagoons in the Caribbean*, a breathtaking white sand beach, an exclusive adult-only private club, spaces designed to maximize family fun and a variety of dining venues and libation stations all in one breathtaking place. A special Celebration Key video, which can be seen here, offers a glimpse into the fun in store for guests beginning in July 2025.

Celebration Key is a featured destination on more than 500 cruise itineraries currently open for sale on 18 Carnival ships sailing from nine U.S. homeports.

New Details Give First Look at Five Portals

• The Welcome Portal is the point where guests are first immersed in the beauty of the destination and greeted with information to help guide them toward their own kind of fun. As live music fills the air, a much-larger-than-life sandcastle stands tall in the center of Celebration Key as the embodiment of all that is fun in the sun.

• The Family-Friendly Portal is the place for families with kids of all ages to enjoy their time at Celebration Key. The day can include swimming in the large freshwater lagoon, alongside a splash pad with a shallow pool, two exciting racing waterslides in the large sandcastle, sports courts, spaces designed for kids and teens to enjoy, a beautiful beach with all types of beach loungers and a variety of cabana rentals, including beach cabanas, villas with personal slides into the lagoon and floating cabanas. There are not only activities for the whole family, but also a variety of dining options and cuisines, that will appeal to all taste buds.

• The Adult-Friendly Portal is designed for adults looking to spend their day enjoying the freshwater lagoon or at the beach lounging on the warm white sands and splashing around in the Bahamian waters to kick back and relax. Guests can also find their favorite cocktails at a large swim-up bar while they enjoy a high energy vibe curated by a talented DJ. A variety of cabana rentals, including beach cabanas, villas with personal slides into the lagoon and floating cabanas are available. There are also several dining venues, including a full-service restaurant that will offer a variety of cuisines, including local Bahamian flavors.

• The Private Club Portal is a premium experience curated for those who are seeking a relaxing and luxurious day in paradise. The private club is an adult-only retreat, with a stunning infinity pool, overlooking the best views of the Bahamian waters, with loungers swaying beneath palm trees and vibrant foliage. A dedicated section of the beach provides premier and private access, along with elevated dining experiences.

• The Retail Portal will showcase Bahamian culture, featuring a backdrop of beautiful murals painted by Bahamian artists and shopping that will include authentic Bahamian artisanal goods and local Bahamian retailers, along with Duty-Free stores. As they explore this portal, guests will also find several food and beverage options serving Bahamian flavors.

"No one does FUN like Carnival and we are designing Celebration Key, and its five portals, with endless ways for our guests to unlock their own kind of fun in this incredible paradise that also celebrates the beauty of Grand Bahama," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Celebration Key is uniquely positioned to bring an island experience to our diverse range of guests, in a way that lets them choose their slice of 'paradise.'"

Carnival ships will dock at an adjacent cruise pier that can accommodate up to two of the cruise line's largest ships simultaneously and will allow guests direct access to the destination. Celebration Key will also include an events pavilion that is dedicated to hosting weddings, vow renewals and other special celebrations.

Cunard Launches its 2024 Showcases
In 2024, Cunard Showcases will transport you to worlds of discovery through the power of live performances.

With a spectacular line-up of critically acclaimed shows, exclusive to Cunard, this new program of entertainment is the first of its kind at sea, in collaboration with award-winning theatre producers, directors, writers, choreographers, and performers.

Alongside shows in the Royal Court Theatre, Cunard Showcases put you at the heart of the action. From gripping dramas to interactive theatre and multisensory dining, get set for one-of-a-kind events that will delight all your senses.

You can even go behind the scenes with the "In conversation with" events and workshops with stage and screen talent.

Available on select voyages, you can feel the groove of the beat in the Royal Court Theatre, as the acclaimed original West End cast of "The Drifters Girl" musical deliver a powerhouse performance of togetherness, unity, camaraderie, and friendship in "Kings of the Boardwalk".

The "Opera Cocktail" delivers a new twist on some of the best-loved arias, duets, and ensembles in a fun, modern setting, as it's performed in witty new English translations and acted in an engaging, intimate style.

Elsewhere, look forward to unique puppetry skills during the "Gulliver" extravaganza, which tells the tale of Gulliver, a traveler and pioneer, who returns after nine years lost at sea, with stories of undiscovered lands and creatures.

Get involved in solving a mystery with the "Cluedo! The Interactive Game," where you step into a world of 1930s high society where intrigue and secrets are the order of the day. Then there's the Circa Contemporary Circus, which will perform on Queen Elizabeth for a six-week residency, featuring full-scale acrobatics and theatrical productions, as well as workshops and Q&As.

History will be made in March when Rodgers & Hammerstein's timeless "South Pacific" is performed for the first time at sea. Fancy another classic? Shakespeare's blockbuster comedy "Twelfth Night" is delivered by the Pursuit Theatre.

"Discovering Antarctica: Heroic Tales of Shackleton, Crean and Scott" is an engrossing story of extraordinary polar endeavors, while Appraisal is a real-time comedy-drama that follows an annual professional work review gone wrong. Sherlock Holmes' ever-reliable sidekick Watson also gets center stage in "Watson: The Final Problem," as he embarks on a journey across Europe while being pursued by Moriarty.

Cunard Showcases itineraries include:

Australia on Queen Elizabeth:
- February 1 – February 20 – Circa
- February 13 – February 20 – Circa
- February 20 – March 5 – Circa
- March 5 – March 7 – Circa
- March 7 – March 10 – Circa
- March 10 – March 28 – South Pacific

World Voyage on Queen Mary 2:
- February 27 – March 6 – Cluedo! The Interactive Game

Transatlantic on Queen Mary 2:
- June 9 – June 15 – Twelfth Night
- July 6 – July 14 – Victorine: The Artist's Model' & The Poetical Life of Philomena McGuinness
- July 27 – August 4 – Appraisal & Watson: The Final Problem

Queen Elizabeth in Alaska:
- July 1 – July 11 – Discovering Antarctica: Heroic Tales of Shackleton, Crean and Scott

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 16.55 - 0.54%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 127.39 + 0.51%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 17.76 + 1.60%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the former Holland America liner that along with QE2 ended up being one of last two passenger ships to cross the Atlantic on a regular basis. What was her name when she was retired in 1988 and whom did she sail for?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
During warm weather duty in the 20's and 30's swimming pools suddenly appeared on the decks of transatlantic liners. How were these temporary pools constructed? .

Answer - Temporary pools were usually heavy canvas lined open cargo hatches. Some with supported bottoms. courtesy of Bill Deibert, Alexandria, VA.


Cruise News - January 22, 2024

Sun Princess Delivery Postponed
Princess Cruises and Fincantieri have mutually agreed to delay delivery of Sun Princess, the largest vessel ever constructed in Italy and the first ship of a revolutionary new platform designed exclusively for the Princess brand.

The postponement has regrettably led to the cancellation of the ship's inaugural 10-day voyage, originally set to depart from Barcelona on February 8th.

"We understand that this news is disappointing, and we share in that disappointment. We recognize the anticipation that surrounded this sailing, and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this cancellation causes," said John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises.

Guests who were booked on of the inaugural voyage will receive a full refund of the cruise fare along with any additional onboard services that were pre-purchased, as well as a 50% future cruise credit (FCC) that can be used on a future Princess voyage*. Guests also will receive up to $200 per person for change fees related to air travel plans.

Holland America Line Adds More Epic 'Legendary Voyages' in 2025-2026
Holland America Line is unveiling four new "Legendary Voyages" including a rare roundtrip 45-day cruise from New York to the Mediterranean and a unique 28-day exploration of the South Pacific Islands. As travelers' interest in longer cruises grows, these region-centric journeys, which will depart in 2025 and early 2026, give guests the opportunity to foster deeper connections and engage more intimately with the destinations visited.

Four new cruises offer unique and immersive travel experiences

Departing Oct. 7, 2025, the 45-Day "Ultimate Mediterranean & Atlantic Passage" Legendary Voyage aboard Volendam is a special sailing roundtrip from New York that spans the Med, inspired by a voyage operated by the line 100 years ago. Guests will visit 20 ports — many of which were visited in 1925 — in Portugal, Spain, U.K., Italy, Tunisia, Malta, Greece, Turkey and Egypt. Overnights include Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Istanbul, Turkey; and Alexandria (Cairo), Egypt. Guests will enjoy late departures from Gibraltar, U.K.; Barcelona, Spain; Istanbul and Alexandria.

"Based on the popularity of our 2024 Ultimate Mediterranean cruise, it's clear that guests are eager for more in-depth exploration of the region," said Beth Bodensteiner, chief commercial officer for Holland America Line. "Being able to offer this cruise roundtrip from New York City in 2025 creates a rare opportunity for people in North America to enjoy the Med and our award-winning service without a long flight."

For a one-of-a-kind island-hopping adventure, guests can embark Noordam Jan. 4, 2026, for the 28-day "Islands of the South Pacific" Legendary Voyage. This meticulously planned itinerary sails from Sydney, Australia, to Auckland, New Zealand, visiting 20 ports across seven countries. The ship will sail along the east coast of Australia, with four calls in Queensland and an opportunity to snorkel at the famed Great Barrier Reef. The ship then calls at the Conflict Islands en route to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga, before three calls in New Zealand.

"The South Pacific is home to some of the most popular ports for cruisers. We worked to create an itinerary like no other in this region, with multiple calls to islands that are less traveled and a must-see for anyone looking to experience all that the region has to offer at an unhurried pace," said Paul Grigsby, Holland America Line's vice president for deployment and itinerary planning.

Other Newly Announced 2025-2026 Legendary Voyages:

Cruisers who like relaxing sea days combined with visits to some of the most beautiful islands in the world have two Legendary Voyages to choose from in 2025 and 2026:

• The 27-Day 'South Pacific Crossing' Legendary Voyage aboard Noordam departs Oct. 12, 2025, and sails from Seattle, Washington, to Sydney. The ship will traverse hemispheres with visits to nine ports across the Pacific Ocean, including four in the island nation of Fiji. An overnight and late departure from Honolulu, Hawaii, allow extra time for experiencing the city's culture, cuisine and history.

• The 36-day 'South Pacific Crossing' Legendary Voyage aboard Noordam departs March 15, 2026. Sailing from Sydney to Seattle, the ship explores 17 ports throughout New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Tahiti, the Cook Islands and Hawaii with overnight stays at Papeete, Tahiti; and Honolulu, along with late departures from Honolulu and Kona, Hawaii.

The four new Legendary Voyages join eight previously announced itineraries that are offered in 2025 and 2026. Additional 2025-2026 Legendary Voyages:

28-Day 'Alaska Arctic Circle Solstice' Legendary Voyage - Departs June 8, 2025; sails roundtrip Seattle aboard Westerdam.

28-Day 'Arctic Circle Crossing: Greenland and Iceland' Legendary Voyage - Departs June 29, 2025; sails roundtrip Rotterdam or June 28, 2025; roundtrip Dover aboard Nieuw Statendam.

25-Day 'Canada, New England, Greenland and Iceland' Legendary Voyage - Departs July 12, 2025; sails roundtrip from Boston aboard Volendam.

35-Day 'Voyage of the Vikings' Legendary Voyage - Departs July 19, 2025; sails roundtrip from Boston aboard Zuiderdam.

28-Day 'Glaciers & Volcanoes: Alaska to Hawaii' Legendary Voyage - Departs Aug. 31, 2025; sails roundtrip Seattle aboard Westerdam.

56-Day 'Tales of the South Pacific' Legendary Voyage - Departs Sept. 24, 2025; from Vancouver to San Diego aboard Zaandam.

30-Day 'Amazon Explorer' Legendary Voyage - Departs Nov. 21, 2025; from New York to Fort Lauderdale aboard Volendam.

35-Day 'Hawaii, Tahiti & Marquesas' Legendary Voyage - Departs Feb. 14, 2026; roundtrip San Diego aboard Nieuw Amsterdam.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Annouces Immersive Overnights Sailings
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has announced a collection of six unique Immersive Overnights voyages where each port of call features an overnight stay – allowing for deeper exploration and discovery in much-loved destinations.

Exclusive New Collection of Voyages will Feature an Industry-First with Overnight Stays in Every Port of Call

These voyages, currently on board four of the six ships in The World's Most Luxurious Fleet, will include special shoreside experiences exclusively crafted to make each overnight call a memorable part of the journey. Destinations featured in the Immersive Overnights collection are the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Asia and all six sailings are included in Regent's Upgrade Your Horizon offer where guests receive a FREE 2-Category Suite Upgrade and low deposits.

"Regent's history of innovation is what made us industry leaders in ultra-luxury cruising, and we continually strive to elevate the unrivaled Regent experience for our discerning and well-traveled guests," said Andrea DeMarco, President of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "Our Immersive Overnights collection featuring an overnight stay in every single port of call will change the way luxury travelers cruise. These extended overnight experiences will allow guests unparalleled immersion in a range of incredible global destinations from Incheon, South Korea; to Zadar, Croatia; to Stockholm, Sweden."

Immersive Overnights allows luxury cruisers to see another side of fascinating destinations with 26 evening shore excursions created especially for Regent. These exciting evening shore excursions include an exploration of world-class art from the likes of Picasso, Rodin, and Munch in the home of a Swedish prince; sunset wine-tasting at a Tuscan villa; and a Michelin star dinner in Athens. This is just a sampling of what is to come with additional evening shore excursions and unique multi-night overland tours in Italy, Croatia, France, Greece, Germany, and Finland to be announced soon.

As well as day and evening shore excursions – many of which are complimentary as part of Regent's free unlimited shore excursion program – as part of the voyage fare, guests will enjoy round-trip business-class air on intercontinental flights from the U.S. and Canada, gourmet cuisine in a range of specialty restaurants and al fresco dining venues, fine wines and spirits, in-suite liquor and mini bar replenished daily, entertainment, unlimited internet access, valet laundry service, pre-paid gratuities onboard, transfers between airport, hotel and ship, and a one-night, pre-cruise hotel package for guests staying in Concierge-level suites and higher.

Sample Evening Shore Excursion: Sunset Wine Tasting & Dinner at a Tuscan Villa

Savor the sumptuous flavors of the Mediterranean in quaint tavernas and historic villas, including Villa Dianella, an elegant Tuscan estate where the famed Medici family hunted during the 16th century. As an introduction to the area, travelers will first explore the nearby town of San Miniato. Perched atop a ridge high above the Arno Valley, the town is known for its white truffles, including a record-breaking one that weighed well over four pounds. Following a full day of exploration, gourmands will enjoy a wine tasting and beautiful evening meal at Villa Dianella, prepared with locally sourced Tuscan ingredients. The seasonal menu may include a paccheri pasta with pecorino cheese and a wonderfully seasoned chicken dish with roasted vegetables. The tasting in the wine cellar will be just as memorable as the selections will be organic – guests will sample a blend made with Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and perhaps an Orpicchio white varietal.

Sample Day Shore Excursion: Bocelli Music & Art

Guests will enjoy a private piano concert and lunch at a restaurant in Rome and see the Eternal City's signature attractions on a panoramic tour. The immersion into all things Roman will begin with an enlightening drive through the capital, perfect for spotting icons such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Circus Maximus, the massive stadium where the Romans once held chariot races. It will also serve as the venue for the piano concert of Italian classics with an accomplished singer as accompaniment. During the inspired lunch that follows, wines produced on the Tuscan estate of Andrea Bocelli's family will complement each course. The sommelier will describe the characteristics of the wines and how the Bocellis produce them. Guests will then view even more iconic locations such as St. Peter's Square while exploring Vatican City.

Princess Cruises Showcases Top Reasons to Visit Canada & New England for Upcoming 2024 Season
The upcoming Canada & New England 2024 cruise season from Princess Cruises offers guests the chance to explore the many wonders of the region, including Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, recently named one of "The Best Places to Visit" in 2024 by CNN.

Saint John gives visitors access to the famous Bay of Fundy, known for having the world's largest tides and is featured on 15 Princess cruises during the highly-anticipated 2024 season. In addition, several scenic coastal New England & Canadian ports showcase the pages of history and stunning natural beauty blended seamlessly onboard a Princess vacation, the cruise line recognized for delivering the "Best Canada and New England Itineraries" by Porthole Magazine.

"We bring a desired mix of destinations on our award-winning Canada & New England itineraries so our guests can easily explore charming must-see ports in this storied region," said Terry Thornton, chief commercial officer for Princess. "From our premium onboard experience to new itineraries, turnaround ports and enticing shore excursions, we give our guests all that this spectacular area has to offer in the temperate summer months through the fall that is bursting with vibrant colors."

With cruises on sale now, here are the top reasons to visit Canada & New England with Princess in 2024:

Two Dozen Memorable Cruises: Princess sails on 25 departures for the upcoming June through October 2024 season, with three amenity-filled Love Boats sailing from New York City, Quebéc City and Boston (NEW!), offering easy drive-in access to celebrated turnaround ports and attractive air service from all over the U.S.

History Buffs Unite with Perfect Lead Up to the Sestercentennial, Marking 250th Birthday of the U.S.: For the first time ever, Princess offers a series of Colonial Heritage itineraries featuring Yorktown, Va., part of Virginia's Historic Triangle, the gateway to Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown, along with stops at charming and history-rich Charleston, Boston and Halifax or Saint John. Island Princess sails roundtrip from New York on June 4, 14 and 25, 2024.

New "Beantown" Homeport Departures: What better way to start a Canada & New England exploration than from Boston, famous for the Freedom Trail, legendary sports teams and an ever-enticing dining scene with fresh local produce and seafood. A new home port, Emerald Princess sails seven-day roundtrip cruises from Boston visiting Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown and Portland or Bar Harbor, as well as 10-day Boston to Quebéc City (or vice versa) including Saint John for the Bay of Fundy and Charlottetown for Prince Edward Island, plus an overnight in Quebéc City. For those looking for a longer unique itinerary, a 17-day cruise combines the best of the East Coast with three visits to ports in remote Greenland, with opportunities to see magnificent fjords and stunning landscapes. Emerald Princess cruises from Boston July 14 - October 7, 2024.

Enchanted Cruises: With the awe-inspiring moment of sailing underneath the Verrazzano Bridge after passing the beautiful Statue of Liberty, Enchanted Princess sails roundtrip from New York City on seven-day cruises visiting Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor (for Acadia National Park), Halifax and Saint John for Bay of Fundy (on select cruises). Cruises depart August 24, 31; September 7, 14, 21, 28; October 5, 12, 19, 26, 2024.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 16.64 - 1.89%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 126.74 + 4.56%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 17.48 + 4.36%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
During warm weather duty in the 20's and 30's swimming pools suddenly appeared on the decks of transatlantic liners. How were these temporary pools constructed?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the last pair of ocean liners to be built with an overhanging, counter stern (...such as on the Titanic and many other early twentieth century ocean liners).

Answer - The ships are the Indepndence and Constitution of American Export Lines. courtesy of Sidney Wusthoff, Metairie, LA


Cruise News - January 15, 2024

Royal Caribbean's Highly Anticipated Icon of the Seas Arrives for the First Time
The new year is kicking off with an iconic celebration. Today, Royal Caribbean International's highly anticipated Icon of the Seas took center stage as it arrived in Miami for the first time. The first-of-its-kind combination of the best of every vacation was welcomed with fanfare by air, land and sea, ahead of its official debut on Jan. 27.

Counting down to the start of a new era of vacations, local residents and Royal Caribbean fans, executives and employees were on hand as the first to see Miami's newest resident. Icon arrived to PortMiami in style, with celebratory fireboat salutes, banner planes in flight and a community celebration at Pérez Art Museum to mark the new vacation's first appearance of many to come in the Magic City. With the introduction of the world's best family vacation less than 20 days away, Icon will continue making its final preparations in Miami ahead of an iconic naming celebration and first cruise.

In store on Icon is an all-encompassing lineup of experiences that combines the best of every vacation – from the beach retreat to the resort escape and the theme park adventure – making the first-of-its-kind adventure the way to get away for every type of family and vacationer. Across eight neighborhoods that are destinations in and of themselves are firsts and next-level favorites for everyone day and night, including adrenaline-pumping thrills like six record-breaking waterslides at Category 6 and the Crown's Edge experience at 154 feet above the ocean, and unrivaled ways to chill with seven pools – one for every day of the week – like the first suspended infinity pool at sea. The game-changing experiences also include a stay-all-day neighborhood designed for families with young kids, more than 40 restaurants, bars and lounges; deck-defying entertainment across air, ice, water and theater; and more.

Starting Jan. 27, vacationers can get away on Icon and island hop in the tropics at any time of the year. Each 7-night Eastern or Western Caribbean adventure from Miami features idyllic destinations in the Caribbean and an unmatched day of thrill and chill at Royal Caribbean's award-winning private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas. Plus, dialing up the perfect on Perfect Day in January 2024 is the private island's first adults-only escape, Hideaway Beach, an all-day experience complete with a private beach and pools, new dedicated spots for drinks and bites, exclusive cabanas, live music and more.

Viking Announces First-of-their-kind China Voyages
Viking today announced three new, first-of-their-kind itineraries that will provide guests with exclusive access to China in 2024. The new voyages range from 10 to 20 days and explore iconic cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Each itinerary also includes a domestic sailing of China's coast that highlights rarely-seen destinations and ports to which only Viking has access—something that has never before been offered for international visitors. The new voyages will operate from September to November on the Viking Yi Dun—formerly the Viking Sun—a sister ship featuring the same award-winning design and service as all other ocean ships in Viking's fleet. The Chinese-flagged Viking Yi Dun will be the first ship dedicated specifically to the foreign market to operate domestic sailings in China. Each voyage will offer The Viking Way of exploration, with immersive experiences to introduce guests to the people, history and culture of China, including insightful lectures, Chinese-inspired cuisine and destination experts. ­

Viking today announced three new, first-of-their-kind voyages that will provide guests with exclusive access to China in 2024. The new itineraries range from 10 to 20 days and will operate from September to November on the Viking Yi Dun—formerly the Viking Sun—a sister ship on Viking’s award-winning ocean fleet. Pictured here, the Viking Yi Dun docked in Shanghai. For more information, visit www.viking.com. "We are proud that Viking will be the first to operate domestic sailings in China for international travelers. Our guests are curious travelers who are interested in experiences that broaden their mind—and China, with one of the richest cultures in the world, has been inspiring travelers for centuries," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "For more than 15 years, our Yangtze River voyages were among our highest-rated itineraries. We brought guests to China's Yangtze River, to Beijing, to the Great Wall, to the Terra Cotta Warriors and to many other iconic places in this captivating nation. We introduced the real China to our guests, and visiting local school children was always a particular highlight. Now, we are delighted to offer such encounters once again with new voyages to a destination that never ceases to capture the imagination."

New China Voyages

• Wonders of China — 20 days; Beijing roundtrip — This comprehensive 20-day cruisetour itinerary delivers China's main highlights. Guests can meet a Tibetan family at their home, walk on the Great Wall and see the Terra Cotta Warriors. Additionally, guests experience the scenic coast of Dongtou and have opportunities to explore Gulangyu Island in Xiamen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Shenzhen, a UNESCO city of design.

• Classic China & the Coast — 15 days; Beijing, Xian – Hong Kong (Shenzhen) — This voyage combines the experiences of Viking's 10-day China Discovery voyage with opportunity to see the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Terra Cotta Warriors and other iconic landmarks. While sailing China's coastline, guests can experience a phenomenal diversity in languages, cultures and cuisines.

• China Discovery — 10 days; Shanghai – Hong Kong (Shenzhen) — This 10-day itinerary allows guests to experience the Buddhist shrines of Zhoushan and the cliffs of Dongtou, follow the steps of 19th-century European diplomats on Gulangyu Island in Xiamen, or try Cantonese dim sum in Shenzhen.

To learn more about the itineraries and why China is such a captivating destination, Viking has also published two new videos: Executive Vice President Karine Hagen invites travelers to learn more about these exclusive-to-Viking China voyages here, and Viking Vice President of Product Development Joost Ouendag provides an in-depth overview of the new voyages and the unique opportunity to be immersed in the history, culture and natural wonders of the Middle Kingdom here.

The Viking Yi Dun

Dedicated specifically to exploring destinations in China, with an onboard experience that complements guests' discoveries ashore, the Viking Yi Dun is a sister ship in Viking's award-winning ocean fleet. Classified by Cruise Critic as "small ships," Viking's ocean vessels have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 staterooms that host 930 guests; the ships feature all veranda staterooms, Scandinavian design, light-filled public spaces and abundant al fresco dining options.

MSC Cruises to Bring MSC Seascape to Galveston
MSC Cruises, the world's third largest cruise line, is setting course for Texas. Today the cruise line opened sales for its new itineraries out of Galveston, marking a significant milestone in its ongoing U.S. expansion. The sailings are poised to redefine the cruising experiences for families in the region thanks to the modern amenities available on MSC Seascape, one of the newest and most environmentally friendly ships in the company's fleet. Guests eager to sail from Texas to Mexico and Central America can experience MSC Cruises' signature European flavor with 7-night sailings beginning in late 2025.

Rubén A. Rodríguez, President, MSC Cruises USA, said: "Expanding to Galveston with the magnificent MSC Seascape is a pivotal moment for us at MSC Cruises and for our guests. Expanding our U.S. footprint makes our unique cruise experience more accessible to travelers in the central and western parts of the country and it illustrates our commitment to providing families in the region with unparalleled vacation options. MSC Seascape's family-friendly amenities, award-winning entertainment and innovative offerings will help us deliver exceptional value and memorable journeys for more guests than ever before."

Starting November 9, 2025, MSC Seascape will set sail from the Port of Galveston with 7-night itineraries visiting must-see destinations including Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; and Isla de Roatan, Honduras. MSC Cruises offers a range of shore excursions to immerse guests in these culturally renowned, vibrant coastal destinations, from tours of the ancient Mayan Ruins and shipwreck snorkeling to glass bottom boat rides and museum tours.

Rodger Rees, Port Director & CEO, Galveston Wharves, said: "Welcoming MSC Cruises and the MSC Seascape to Galveston offers cruise passengers a new cruise experience and opportunities to explore Galveston Island, a tropical Texas island rich with history, Victorian architecture, sparkling beaches and great restaurants. MSC passengers can come for a fabulous cruise and stay to discover our island treasures."

The innovative MSC Seascape elevates the industry-standard family experience on board with an astonishing 7,500 square feet of dedicated kids' space and cutting-edge amusement options. Guests can indulge in the state-of-the-art ROBOTRON robotic arm ride, two LEGO® rooms for ages 3-6 and 7-11, three different concept spaces for teens, a VR 360° Flight Simulator, VR motorcycles and the immersive MSC Formula Racer, perfect for racing enthusiasts ready to get their adrenaline fix.

MSC Seascape Itinerary Highlights include:

• Costa Maya, Mexico – Home to the ancient Chacchoben and Kohunlich Mayan Ruins, guests can uncover Costa Maya's 4,000-year history, the story of the Mayan population, and thriving wildlife with guided tours from the ocean to the jungle. On the Jaguar Truck, guests can immerse themselves in nature as they journey through rainforests to explore the waters of a Cenote—one of Mexico's many ancient naturally occurring swimming holes.

• Isla de Roatan – Off the coast of Honduras is Isla de Roatan, a largely untouched island known for its incredible barrier reef. Guests will find white sand beaches, shipwreck snorkeling tours and glass bottom boat excursions. For the more adventurous traveler, guides offer an extensive hiking and archaeology tour through the ancient world of Mayan culture and the capital city of Coxen Hole.

• Cozumel, Mexico – Globally recognized for its incredible diving excursions, Cozumel offers snorkeling trips through an ancient Mayan cave, clear bottomed Kayaking and snorkeling and up-close-and-personal experiences with dolphins, manatees and other wildlife. Guests interested in a robust learning experience can take part in tours of the city or nearby Mayan Ruins.

Villa Vie Residences Updates Progress
Villa Vie Residences, the innovative new world cruise brand and residential community at sea, has announced an all-time sales record with the most bookings taken in one single day. Villa Vie Residences recorded the sale of 6% of its total available capacity on their best booking day to date. The exciting announcement comes just one month following the opening of sales to the public for Villa Vie Residences' pioneering continual World Cruise.

"Villa Vie Residences CEO Mikael Petterson states, "Villa Vie Residences' unprecedented sales volume in such a short period of time showcases the exceptional demand for residential cruising. We are ahead of schedule to take possession of the ship by the end of February having already paid 50% of the vessel cost with secured financing for the remaining balance."

Across the board, all voyage segments and all villa categories have seen extraordinarily strong demand with close to half of the ship sold to capacity for its inaugural departure on May 15, 2024. More than 70% of the Inside Villas have been sold as well as more than 50% of the Balcony Villas.

Villa Vie Residences' continual World Cruise will allow residents to travel to all seven continents as part of an itinerary that is unprecedented in its duration and variety visiting 425 destinations across 147 countries. Through its ownership program, travelers can embrace life as a global resident by owning a villa at sea for as little as $99,999.

Residents that prefer more flexibility than the full ownership program offers can curate their own journey from the collection of 16 segments ranging from 35- to 120- days with longer stays in port. "Today's traveler is eager to explore the world and Villa Vie Residences will ensure their travel dreams are fulfilled with this unique and continual circumnavigation of the world," added Petterson.

Villa Vie Residences' booking record comes only weeks after the cruise brand announced it had purchased the former Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ship, The Braemar to be named Villa Vie Odyssey. The 924-passenger, 24,344 GRT vessel will enter service this year following an all-encompassing multi-million-dollar, two month-long refurbishment beginning in March.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 16.96 - 2.25%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 121.21 - 2.34%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 16.75 - 5.69%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the last pair of ocean liners to be built with an overhanging, counter stern (...such as on the Titanic and many other early twentieth century ocean liners).

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What ever became of Cunard's Carpathia that became famous for rescuing the survivors of Titanic?

Answer - The Queen Elizabeth was docked at Port Everglades, Florida and open to the public until it was declared a fire hazard. courtesy of Rich C. The Villages, Florida.


Cruise News - January 8, 2024

Oceania Cruises Announces Inspiring New Voyages on Riviera, Exploring Lesser-Known Ports
Oceania Cruises has announced that its 1,250-guest ship Riviera will explore the continents of Africa and Asia at the end of 2024, and into 2025 with three brand new itineraries.

The jewel of these itineraries is a once-in-a-lifetime 59-day Grand Voyage which offers guests the opportunity to explore the truly off-the-beaten path ports across Africa and Asia. Riviera will sail from Barcelona, call at the Canary Islands, before heading down the western coast of Africa with days at sea punctuating enticing ports in Senegal, Gambia, Ghana and an overnight stay in Walvis Bay, Namibia. At the journey's most southern point, guests will enjoy an overnight stay in Cape Town before heading up the eastern coast via Madagascar, for an overnight stay in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; and then across to the Seychelles, Maldives, Thailand, Malaysia, before the journey culminates in an overnight stay in Singapore.

"These longer, destination-immersive voyages offer curious, well-traveled guests the chance to explore some of the most off-the-beaten-path ports in the world, all from the elegant surroundings of Riviera. Sailing from Europe to Asia, via both coasts of Africa, is a true bucket list journey, combining iconic cities and unknown gems, with our incredible onboard service and the best value in luxury cruising, these voyages are hard to resist," stated Frank A Del Rio, President of Oceania Cruises.

Offering the largest standard staterooms at sea and home-away-from-home residential-style luxury, Riviera will explore bucket list African ports such as Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Walvis Bay and Dar Es Salaam as well as stopping in the iconic Asian ports of Phuket, Penang, Colombo and Malé. Her new itineraries range from 27 to 59 days, traveling from Europe across Africa and Asia.

Riviera will also take guests to smaller, more niche ports across the globe, stopping at Antsiranana in Madagascar, Hambantota in Sri Lanka, Sao Tome and Lome in Togo. Travelers will have the opportunity to delve deeper into the natural wonders and local cultures of these destinations with more than 400 shore excursions to choose from.

Riviera's New Itineraries:

A Tale of Five Seas, 59-day voyage departing on November 14, 2024 from Barcelona, and arriving in Singapore on January 12, 2025. Ports of call: Seville, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Arrecife, Mindelo, Dakar, Banjul, Abidjan, Sekondi-Takoradi, Lome, Sao Tome, overnight stay in Walvis Bay, Luderitz, overnight stay in Cape Town, Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth, Maputo, Nosy Be, Mayotte, overnight stay in Dar Es Salaam, Antsiranana, Mahe, overnight stay in Male, Colombo, Hambantota, Phuket, Langkawi, Penang, Melaka, Kuala Lumpur, finishing with an overnight stay in Singapore.

West African Rhythms, 27-day voyage departing on November 14, 2024, from Barcelona, and arriving in Cape Town on December 11, 2024. Ports of call: Seville, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Arrecife, Mindelo, Dakar, Banjul, Abidjan, Sekondi-Takoradi, Lome, Sao Tome, overnight stay in Walvis Bay, Luderitz, finishing with an overnight stay in Cape Town.

Colonial Crowns, 32-day voyage departing on December 11, 2024 from Cape Town, and arriving in Singapore on January 12, 2025. Ports of call: Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth, Maputo, Nosy Be, Mayotte, overnight stay in Dar Es Salaam, Antsiranana, Mahe, overnight stay in Male, Colombo, Hambantota, Phuket, Langkawi, Penang, Melaka, Kuala Lumpur, finishing with an overnight stay in Singapore.

All guests sailing on these itineraries benefit from Oceania Cruises' simply MORE™ offering, which includes a generous shore excursion credit of up to $2,600 per stateroom, in addition to free roundtrip airfare; free airport transfers; free Champagne, wine and more during lunch and dinner; free soft drinks and specialty teas and coffees; free gourmet specialty dining and free unlimited WiFi – for the best value in luxury cruising.

Beautifully re-inspired, Riviera offers unparalleled experiences to curious world travelers. Her incredibly spacious standard staterooms measure an astounding 291 square feet and all categories of staterooms have been stunningly reimagined with luxurious furnishings, thoughtful design touches and larger showers. With 800 officers and crew for 1,250 guests, service levels are second to none and guests receive a friendly welcome at every turn.

Boasting one chef for every 10 guests, travelers can savor sumptuous dishes at seven open-seating gourmet restaurants as they marvel at the turquoise sea in Thailand, or relax after a day's safari in Tanzania.

Whether you choose from an array of international and Continental dishes at The Grand Dining Room, the ultimate steakhouse experience at Polo Grill, bold Pan-Asian fare at Red Ginger, masterfully prepared Italian dishes at Toscana, delectable French cuisine at Jacques, hallmark Chef's Market Dinners and ever-changing menus at Terrace Café or handmade pizzas at the new alfresco pizzeria at Waves Grill, every meal aboard Riviera becomes a memorable culinary experience.

Riviera had a sweeping rejuvenation with all suites and staterooms being restyled with new custom furnishings, wood finishes and designer accents radiating Oceania Cruises' signature essence of elegance. Some notable highlights of the reimagined vessel include:

• Concierge Level Veranda Staterooms and Veranda Staterooms are the largest standard staterooms afloat at 291 square feet

• All Penthouse Suites and staterooms are beautifully redesigned, bringing a chic, warm and comforting sense of home with sleek restyled bathrooms in Italian marble

• Riviera's public spaces have all been elevated with plush new carpets and leather-covered armchairs

• All the convivial lounges and bars, and decadent dining venues have been elegantly restyled, elevating social and epicurean experiences while maintaining the home-away-from-home ambiance

• The Grand Dining Room reflects a renewed sense of grandeur that radiates from the glistening chandelier, plush carpets and butter-soft leather armchairs

• Dining alfresco in the evening has been completely revamped with a delightful new pizzeria and trattoria, featuring an array of handmade pizzas, succulently grilled Italian specialties, spicy chicken wings, tantalizing salads and indulgent desserts every evening

More Than 50 Ports Across 11 Countries Highlight Holland America Line's 2025-2026 Asia Cruise Season
Holland America Line's Westerdam is heading to Asia, where it will explore 11 countries from September 2025 through April 2026. The itineraries have a strong focus on Japan with 24 different ports around the country, as well as visits to Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Ten unique itineraries and two Pacific Ocean crossings showcase cultural experiences and fresh, regional cuisine

Cruises in the Far East depart from Hong Kong, China; Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan; and Singapore to some of Asia's most iconic cities — with up to 12 ports in a single cruise. Late departures and overnight stays allow extra time for guests to sample the nightlife, local cuisine and rich cultures of the region.

"For travelers looking to discover Asia, our 2025-2026 season provides an opportunity to explore the region in-depth via cruise," said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. "We have diversified the number of ports to more than 50 across several itineraries. We want to ensure our guests have an authentic glimpse into the diverse cultures of each country, creating immersive moments and deeper connections to those destinations."

Highlights of the 2025-2026 Asia Season

• Westerdam will explore Asia from September 2025 through April 2026.

• The cruises visit a combined 51 ports in the region, including 24 in Japan.

• More than 50 UNESCO World Heritage sites are sprinkled throughout the itineraries, giving guests on every cruise the chance to visit these spectacular sites that represent the best of human heritage, as designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

• Holland America Line's Global Fresh Fish Program brings native fresh fish and other local ingredients on board, from Japanese rockfish to Indonesian rambutan.

• Overnight calls include Shanghai, China; Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand; Manilla, Philippines; Hiroshima, Japan; and Incheon (Seoul), South Korea.

• Late-night departures on select itineraries include Hakodate, Osaka and Kobe, Japan; Halong Bay and Da Nang, Vietnam; Lembar, Indonesia; and Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

• "North Pacific Crossing" between Seattle and Yokohama:
- 13 days, departing Sept. 28, 2025, Seattle to Yokohama, including calls at Juneau, Alaska, and Kushiro and Aomori, Japan.
- 15 days, departing April 26, 2026, Yokohama to Seattle, including Kushiro, Japan; Alaska's Kodiak, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

• "Circle Japan" — 14 or 15 days, roundtrip from Yokohama. Three itineraries:
- Omaezaki, Kobe, Kochi, Fukuoka, Kanazawa, Sakata, Otaru, Aomori, Hakodate and Miyako, all in Japan, as well as Sokcho, South Korea.
- Himeji, Kochi, Hiroshima, Sakaiminato, Tsuruga, Toyama, Sakata, Otaru and Hakodate, all in Japan, as well as Busan (Pusan), South Korea. Omaezaki, Kobe, Kochi, Fukuoka, Kanazawa, Sakata, Otaru, Aomori and Hakodate, all in Japan; as well as Sokcho, South Korea.
- "Japan and South Korea Discovery" — 14 days, roundtrip from Yokohama. Kochi, Kagoshima, Nagasaki, Fukuoka, Hiroshima and Kobe, Japan; (Seoul, overnight), Busan and Jeju City (Cheju), South Korea.

• "Japan, South Korea and China" — 13 or 14 days, from Yokohama to Hong Kong: Shimizu, Osaka, Takamatsu (maiden port), Hiroshima (overnight Feb. 15 departure only), Fukuoka and Nagasaki, Japan; Busan (Pusan), South Korea; Shanghai (overnight), China.

• "The Philippines, Taiwan and Japan" — 14 days, Hong Kong to Yokohama. Calls at Manila, Boracay and Puerto Princesa, Philippines; Keelung (Taipei) and Kaohsiung, Taiwan; and Osaka, Naha and Ishigaki, Japan.

• "Far East Discovery" — 13 or 14 days, between Hong Kong and Singapore. Calls at Halong Bay, Da Nang (Hue), Nha Trang and Phu My, Vietnam; Sihanoukville, Cambodia; and Laem Chabang (Bangkok, overnight) and Nathon (Koh Samui), Thailand.

• "Indonesian Holiday" — 15 days, roundtrip from Singapore. Sails Dec. 20, 2025, to Jan. 4 2026. All calls are in Indonesia and include Probolinggo, Surabaya, Semarang and Tanjung Priok (Jakarta), Java; Celukan Bawang and Benoa (Denpasar), Bali; Komodo Island; Lembar, Lombok; and Tanjung Priok, Jakarta. Scenic cruising by the active Krakatau Volcano.

• "Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines" — 14 days, from Singapore to Hong Kong. Laem Chabang (Bangkok, overnight), Thailand; Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia; Puerto Princesa and Manilla (overnight), the Philippines; and Phu My, Vietnam.

Princess Cruises Names Jim Berra Chief Marketing Officer
Princess Cruises today announced that Jim Berra – an accomplished cruise industry and hospitality veteran with nearly three decades of brand, marketing, and commerce experience – has joined the organization as chief marketing officer, reporting directly to Princess Cruises president John Padgett.

As CMO, Jim will lead all global marketing facets including integrated marketing strategy formulation, creative development and brand promotion across all channels and geographies to further optimize Princess' global marketplace position.

Berra joins a leadership team with extensive commercial and communications experience including highly respected industry veterans Terry Thornton, Chief Commercial Officer; Vicki Johnson, Sr. Vice President of Communications, and Carmen Roig, Vice President of Sales.

"Jim's demonstrated track record of success with outstanding hospitality brands make him a perfect addition to the Princess team," Padgett said. "The Princess brand is truly special, and Jim will ensure 'The Love Boat' extends its position as an iconic brand and a global destination leader."

Berra comes to Princess from Invited (formerly ClubCorp), the largest owner of private membership clubs in the country, where he served as Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer. Prior to Invited, Berra spent six years at Royal Caribbean International as senior vice president and chief marketing officer, overseeing the company's advertising programs, marketing communications, social media, e-commerce, and customer marketing.

"Princess has a rich history of creating unforgettable moments at sea, and I am excited to steer the marketing efforts for the iconic Love Boat brand to even greater heights," Berra said. "Together, we will continue to inspire travelers to embark on journeys filled with love, adventure, and cherished memories."

Before Royal Caribbean, Berra spent seven years at Carnival Cruise Line as its Chief Marketing Officer. Previously he also held multiple positions with Starwood Hotels & Resorts including SVP of Customer Marketing and Strategic Alliances.

A resident of Miami Beach, Fla., Berra holds bachelor's degrees in economics and philosophy from Northwestern University.

Cunard Set to Bring Back Le Gavroche at Sea
Cunard will bring back an exclusive series of Le Gavroche residencies at sea this year as two Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux brings his iconic London restaurant to guests on Queen Anne and Queen Mary 2.

The esteemed chef will close the popular Mayfair venue this month and oversee four Le Gavroche residencies across four exciting Fjords voyages in 2024.

The exclusive series will be delivered in partnership with the Norwegian Seafood Council and begins with Le Gavroche at The Verandah aboard Cunard's flagship Queen Mary 2, for her sailing to Hardangerfjord on June 2.

The five-night residency – which will be an additional charge for guests – will cater to 60 diners each evening, showcasing a beautiful variety of Roux's signature seafood specialties and elevated culinary classics.

Guests will be treated to a five-course tasting menu infused with all the flavors of the sea, elegantly finessed using the very best produce.

Roux will then host a second residency aboard Queen Mary 2 for her Hamburg roundtrip Fjords voyage on August 6.

That same month, Roux will deliver another intimate, five-night takeover with Le Gavroche at Sir Samuel's on-board Cunard's newest ship Queen Anne as she departs for Stavanger in Norway on August 11. This exclusive dining experience will cater for 50 guests each night.

The Le Gavroche custodian will complete his quartet of takeovers with a further Norwegian residency on Queen Anne on September 1 as she sails to Haugesund.

During these voyages, Roux will also appear as an Insights Speaker in the Royal Court Theatre, regaling guests with stories from his illustrious 40-plus-year career in the hospitality industry.

The news follows August's announcement that Roux will be creating an exclusive gala menu for Queen Anne's Queens Grill and Princess Grill restaurants, as well as a new Golden Lion menu full of refined pub favorites for Cunard's newest ship.

Katie McAlister, President of Cunard, said: "We are incredibly honored to exclusively host Le Gavroche at sea and continue our exciting partnership with Michel Roux. Just as Roux sets the bar for fine dining, we at Cunard set the bar for luxury ocean travel, and his innovative approach to celebrating traditional Norwegian cuisine perfectly aligns with our dedication to offering guests unforgettable and culturally rich experiences."

Michel Roux added: "It is an absolute privilege to bring Le Gavroche to Cunard's Queens, reuniting with their hugely talented and passionate culinary development chefs as we strive to create menus inspired by the treasures of Norwegian cuisine. The culinary heritage of Norway is a tapestry of flavors, and together with Cunard, I look forward to weaving these elements into an extraordinary dining experience at Sir Samuel's and The Verandah. My ongoing partnership with the Norwegian Seafood Council allows us to ensure every dish tells a story of the nation's natural beauty."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 17.35 - 6.42%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 124.12 - 4.15%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 17.76 - 11.38%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Between the time she left Cunard's service in 1968 and her arrival in Hong Kong in 1971, the Queen Elizabeth spent time in what is now one of the most popular ports in North America. Where was she laid up during this time?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What ever became of Cunard's Carpathia that became famous for rescuing the survivors of Titanic?

Answer - The outbreak of World War I saw her on the on the Liverpool-New York route from 1915 until 17 July 1918, when she was torpedoed and sunk by U55, 170 miles west of Bishop Rock. Five crew were killed, but the remaining 215 on board, including 57 passengers, were rescued by HMS Snowdrop. courtesy of Jay Brice.


Cruise News - January 1, 2024

Carnival Announces a Roundup of New Enhancements
Carnival Cruise Line is deploying a series of new enhancements to elevate the guest experience in time for a fun-filled new year. From a reimagined culinary journey with Chef’s Table and Carnival Culinary Center curated by Chief Culinary Officer Emeril Lagasse, to new online enhancements aimed to make debarkation more convenient, Carnival continues to elevate its offerings for guests.

Dedicated Cooking Class Offering Chief Culinary Officer Emeril Lagasse’s Favorites

Debuting on Carnival Jubilee as part of the Carnival Kitchen offerings, the Carnival Culinary Center features a dedicated cooking class curated by Chief Culinary Officer Emeril Lagasse. As part of the program, guests will learn to curate a three-course meal with hand-selected recipes by Emeril, including his world-renowned New-New Orleans Pasta, Shrimp & Okra Gumbo with Filé and Strawberries Romanoff. Carnival Kitchen is also featured on Carnival Panorama, Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration.

Chef’s Table Revamps with New Menu and Wine Selections

Carnival has launched a new option for its popular Chef’s Table, an immersive VIP culinary experience that includes a sumptuous multi-course dinner hosted by the Executive Chef onboard. The premium Chef’s Table 2.0 will offer new menu items for guests to enjoy. The experience starts with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for a select group of 14, followed by a tour to see the galley in operation and concludes with a remarkable dinner of appetizers, entrees and desserts.

The Chef’s Table 2.0 menu promises an exquisite array of new flavors with unique selections of food and wine selections on each Carnival ship. From tantalizing starters and main course offerings to world-class wine selections and decadent desserts, guests can fully immerse themselves in a unique and savory experience. Offerings are available fleetwide.

“Behind The Fun” Ship Tours Are Now Available Online

A guest favorite among Carnival tours, ‘Behind The Fun’ will now be available for bookings pre-cruise on Carnival.com starting Jan. 1. Until now, the popular tour was only available for booking once on board.

The new feature will be rolled out fleetwide. To book, guests will select the tour as a shore excursion under their ship’s homeport. The tour will take place on a Fun Day at Sea during the cruise. An accessible, abbreviated tour is also now available for guests with disabilities.

Debark Seamlessly with New HUB App Feature

To simplify debarkation, Carnival added a new feature on the HUB App. Instead of picking up zone tags for their luggage, guests can indicate a debarkation time via the app and list the number of bags to be placed outside their stateroom so the tags can be delivered directly to them. In addition, guests that would like to carry their own luggage off the ship are also welcome to use the new feature to choose the time they wish to debark by selecting a group suitable for them.

VIFP members and suite guests will still receive special tags with priority debarkation as normal, and guests who prefer not to use the app can still follow the traditional debarkation process and retrieve their tags.

The new feature is available on Carnival Conquest, Carnival Elation, Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Dream and Mardi Gras, while the rest of the fleet is targeting a rollout by February.

MSC Rolls Out New Global Brand Campaign “for a Greater Beauty”
MSC Cruise sannounced today tht it is launching a brand new global integrated marketing campaign - “For a greater beauty”.

The campaign encourages audiences to discover the beauty of cruising in a more conscious way with a profound respect for the ocean and the planet. Beauty, represented in the film by an alluring voice, invites the audience to immerse themselves in the world’s destinations, into nature and into wonderful experiences on and off board.

The campaign will be activated in more than 30 countries worldwide and will be seen through a mix of marketing channels including TV, out of home, print media, digital and social media.

The TV spot was filmed on board MSC World Europa, one of 22 modern ships in MSC Cruises’ fleet and the fleet’s first ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), featuring the latest environmental technology. MSC World Europa offers an enriching vacation experience inspired by the Company’s European heritage, where guests can enjoy international dining, world-class entertainment, award-winning family programs and the latest user-friendly technology.

MSC Cruises is firmly committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions for its marine operations by 2050. The Company is also a significant investor in next-generation environmental marine technologies, with the objective to support their accelerated development and availability industry-wide.

Throughout 2024, those looking to escape the everyday to discover the beauty of cruising can choose from one of MSC Cruises more than 1,000 different departure ports calling at more than 240 destinations in over 85 countries.

Created in partnership with Dentsu Creative Italy, the new campaign has been filmed by the Australian director Kiku Ohe. Known for his ability to craft compelling visual narratives, elicit authentic character-driven performances, his highly awarded film craft displays a rare depth and artistry. The production is signed by Birth.

Princess Cruises Salutes 65th Anniversary of Alaska Statehood
Princess Cruises proudly celebrates Alaska today on the momentous occasion of its 65th anniversary of statehood. As the leader in Alaska vacations, Princess Cruises has been a part of Alaska's incredible journey, showcasing its natural beauty and cultural richness to millions of travelers from around the globe.

"Alaska's statehood marked a historic moment in American history, opening doors to a world of opportunities and possibilities, and we salute this very important anniversary," said Terry Thornton, chief commercial officer for Princess. "Princess Cruises has been a proud partner in Alaska's growth and prosperity, providing unforgettable experiences, contributing to its economy and fostering a deep appreciation for its unique heritage. We look back with pride on the incredible memories we've shared with millions of guests who have explored its pristine wilderness, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant communities with us."

55th Anniversary Season: Bigger and Better than Ever!

Like the 49th state, Princess will celebrate its own milestone anniversary in 2024, marking the 55th year of sailing guests to Alaska. The 2024 season runs May-September, and this year, Princess Cruises will again offer more choices than any other cruise line with seven beautiful cruise ships and five scenic Wilderness Lodges covering every part of Alaska. There are appealing options for any vacation budget and duration.

Having recently achieved its highest-ever guest satisfaction rates in 2023, the leading cruise line in Alaska consistently earns acclaim for its exceptional itineraries, unique shore excursions, the exclusive "North to Alaska" destination-specific enrichment program, delightful locally sourced seafood, and various other offerings. The cruise experience fully immerses guests in the state's rich culture, making it an ideal choice for families of all sizes.

The 2024 season promises to be the biggest and best ever with 158 departures on 14 unique itineraries with 17 destinations, including five glacier viewing experiences on seven stunning ships. The cruise line's 55th anniversary season also features 91 visits to Glacier Bay National Park, the most of any cruise line, including the "Voyage of the Glaciers" itineraries between Anchorage (Whittier) and Vancouver, B.C., and Inside Passage voyages roundtrip from Seattle, San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C.

New for 2024 are convenient, seven-day Inside Passage itineraries, many including Glacier Bay National Park, round-trip from Vancouver on Ruby Princess. The cruises deliver four awe-inspiring ports, including Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan along with visits to Endicott Arm and scenic cruising of Dawes Glacier.

Plus, there are more than 20 amazing cruisetours (cruise + land tour) that combine the unmatched Princess cruise experience with visits to the sights of Denali National Park, Kenai Peninsula, Copper River, Fairbanks and Anchorage and all from the comfort of the exclusive Princess lodges. Marking the 55th anniversary, two new cruisetours debut in 2024:

• National Parks Tour - A 15-night adventure to five of Alaska's most breathtaking parks including Glacier Bay, Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias, Kenai Fjords National Parks, and Klondike Gold Rush National

• Historical Park in Skagway. This experience combines a seven-day cruise, scenic rail travel, and eight nights land, including stays at four Princess-owned wilderness lodges.

• Katmai National Park Tour - Nine-day cruisetour includes two nights in Anchorage, where guests have the chance to embark on an intimate bear-watching experience at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park. This tour immerses travelers in the heart of Alaska's wilderness, allowing them to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, before or after sailing on a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise that includes a coveted visit to Glacier Bay National Park.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.54 - 2.06%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 129.49 + 1.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 20.04 - 4.34%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What ever became of Cunard's Carpathia that became famous for rescuing the survivors of Titanic?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the first new North Atlantic liner built after World War II?

Answer - The first new North Atlantic liner built after World War II was the Stockholm. courtesy of Timothy Edgecombe - Vancouver


Cruise News - December 25, 2023

Port Of Galveston Gives Texas-sized Welcome To Newest Fun Ship
Waving from the newest Fun Ship, Santa Claus swapped his sleigh for the day so he could help deliver Carnival Jubilee – the first brand new cruise ship to debut in Galveston, Tex. Carnival Cruise Line’s new flagship, which dons a Texas Star on its bow, was welcomed home with a grand water salute as she docked at Galveston Wharves’ Terminal 25 for the first time.

The official debut of the 26th Fun Ship in the Carnival fleet signals the start of a significant expansion strategy in Galveston, which has grown among Carnival’s top homeports since the company became the first cruise line to operate there year-round more than two decades ago. In addition to bringing Carnival’s most innovative and dynamic entertainment and dining offerings, the ship will now significantly expand capacity from the port. Carnival Jubilee joins Carnival Breeze and Carnival Dream at the port as part of a four-ship deployment plan that will be complete when Carnival Miracle repositions to Galveston next fall.

“The Texas star on her bow isn’t just decoration, it’s a symbol of our gratitude to our guests sailing from Texas who’ve made us the number one cruise line in Galveston, and our commitment to the future of cruising from this great city and state,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “When we cut the ribbon to welcome our first guests on this ship this weekend, we’ll be celebrating the beginning of a new era of operations here.”

Along with bringing the first roller coaster on board a cruise ship to Texas, Carnival Jubilee will also usher in the use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in Galveston. Enhancements were made at the port to accommodate the use of LNG and additionally, Carnival’s decision to deploy the new ship at its Texas homeport generated a $53 million investment in terminal improvements. In a Dec. 20 column, The Galveston County Daily News described Carnival Jubilee as a significant addition to the port and said, “The fact Carnival is willing to base its newest, biggest asset in Galveston is testament to the port’s standing in the industry and further evidence that past investment in cruise facilities was, and more investment would be, prudent.”

“The terminal, which has been home to Carnival ships since 2000, has been renovated top to bottom, inside and out. From a new roof, expanded dock and exterior colors to new interior finishes and furniture, the terminal has a fresh, new look,” said Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO. “We are happy the time has come for this historic event and honored to host this beautiful, state-of-the-art ship.”

Now, Carnival Jubilee’s 1,750 team members are preparing to welcome more than 6,000 guests aboard for a maiden departure on Saturday. The ship is set to sail on a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise, visiting Mahogany Bay as well as Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. The ship will continue sailing week-long cruises year-round.

Carnival Corporation & Plc Reports Record Fourth Quarter and Full Year Revenues
Carnival Corporation & plc reported fourth quarter and full year 2023 earnings and provides an outlook for the full year and first quarter 2024.

"We ended the year on a high note with another record-breaking quarter that exceeded expectations and achieved positive full year adjusted net income. In fact, we consistently outperformed in all four quarters of the year, buoyed by a strengthening demand environment across all our brands," commented Carnival Corporation & plc's Chief Executive Officer Josh Weinstein.

"Net yields for the fourth quarter continued on a positive trajectory, were significantly higher than a very strong 2019 and even higher than we had anticipated, enabling us to overcome four years of high cost inflation to deliver five percent higher per unit EBITDA than 2019 (holding fuel and currency constant)," Weinstein added. "Thanks to a strong second half of 2023, we are already tracking ahead of our plan to achieve SEA Change, our three-year financial targets calling for the highest adjusted ROIC and adjusted EBITDA per ALBD in nearly two decades. Based on our 2024 guidance, we expect to deliver another big step forward, positioning us more than halfway toward realizing all our 2026 SEA Change targets. With nearly two-thirds of 2024 on the books already, we are well positioned to obtain another year of record revenues and adjusted EBITDA," Weinstein noted.

Fourth Quarter 2023 Results

• U.S. GAAP net loss of $48 million, or $(0.04) diluted EPS, and adjusted net loss of $90 million, or $(0.07) adjusted EPS, was above the better end of the September guidance range (see "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below).

• Adjusted EBITDA of $946 million exceeded the September guidance range, driven by continued strength in demand, which is driving ticket prices higher (see "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below).

• Record fourth quarter revenues of $5.4 billion, with record net per diems (in constant currency) significantly exceeding 2019 levels, and above the September guidance range and record net yields (in constant currency).

• While gross margin yields were down 4.6 percent, net yields (in constant currency) exceeded strong 2019 levels by 7.8 percent.
- Occupancy in the fourth quarter of 2023 was over 101 percent, in line with the company's expectations and historical levels.
- Gross margin per diems were down 2.3 percent compared to 2019, while net per diems (in constant currency) exceeded 2019 levels by over 10 percent and were three percentage points better than the midpoint of the September guidance range.

• Cruise costs per ALBD increased 12 percent as compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Adjusted cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD (in constant currency) increased 11 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 and were in line with September guidance (see "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below).

• Total customer deposits reached a fourth quarter record of $6.4 billion, surpassing the previous fourth quarter record of $5.1 billion (as of November 30, 2022), by 25 percent.

Bookings

"We entered the year with the best booked position we have ever seen, and now have nearly two-thirds of our occupancy already on the books for 2024, at considerably higher prices (in constant currency). We continue to experience strong bookings momentum across the board, with our European brands showing remarkable strength during the quarter with booking volumes running up well into the double digits at considerably higher prices (in constant currency)," Weinstein noted.

Weinstein continued, "Our yield management strategy to base load bookings is clearly working as we pull forward booking volumes on strong pricing. We continue to build on that momentum with our ongoing advertising investments and lead generation efforts, increasing support from our trade partners, and the exceptional guest experiences our team members provide onboard every day, helping to deliver millions of cruising advocates."

Booking volumes during the fourth quarter continued at significantly elevated levels, above both prior year and 2019 comparable periods, while recent booking volumes for the two weeks around Black Friday and Cyber Monday reached an all-time high for that period. Pricing on bookings during the fourth quarter was considerably higher than prior year pricing (in constant currency).

The cumulative advanced booked position is at considerably higher prices (in constant currency) than 2023 levels, with each quarter of 2024 booked above the high end of the historical range.

2024 Outlook

For the full year 2024, Carnival said that it expects:

• Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $5.6 billion, over 30 percent growth compared to 2023

• Net yields (in constant currency) up approximately 8.5 percent compared to 2023, with full year occupancy returning to historical levels and nicely higher net per diems (in constant currency) reflecting continued strength in pricing and onboard spending

• Adjusted cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD (in constant currency) up approximately 4.5 percent compared to 2023

For the first quarter of 2024, Carnival said that it expects:

• Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $0.8 billion, more than double the first quarter of 2023

• Net yields (in constant currency) up approximately 16.5 percent compared to the first quarter of 2023 with occupancy returning to historical levels as the company closes the remaining occupancy gap in the first half of the year

• Adjusted cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD (in constant currency) up approximately 9.5 percent compared to the first quarter of 2023 primarily due to higher occupancy levels, the timing of advertising investments and dry-dock related expenses compared to the prior year See "Guidance" and "Reconciliation of Forecasted Data" for additional information on the company's 2024 outlook.

Financing and Capital Activity

"During 2023, we made debt payments of $6 billion and ended the year with just over $30 billion of debt, which is $3 billion better than we forecasted just nine months ago during our March conference call and almost $5 billion off the first quarter peak," noted Carnival Corporation & plc Chief Financial Officer David Bernstein.

"And looking forward, we will continue to evaluate refinancing opportunities and opportunistically prepay additional debt. Furthermore, we expect durable revenue growth to drive increases in adjusted free cash flow in 2024 and beyond, which will be the primary driver for paying down our debt balances on our path back to investment grade," Bernstein added.

During 2023, the company generated cash from operations of $4.3 billion and adjusted free cash flow of $2.1 billion, making a significant contribution toward rebuilding the company's financial strength.

During the fourth quarter of 2023, Carnival said that it reduced its debt by another $725 million and for the full year made debt payments of $6 billion while ending the fourth quarter with $5.4 billion of liquidity, including cash and borrowings available under the revolving credit facility. In addition, Carnival said that it amended an agreement with one of its credit card processors and now expects an additional $800 million to be returned during the first quarter of 2024, representing substantially all of the credit card reserves balance as of November 30, 2023.

Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s First Restaurant at Sea Opens Aboard Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam
Morimoto By Sea, Holland America Line’s newest specialty restaurant, officially opened its doors aboard Nieuw Amsterdam Dec. 21. Morimoto By Sea is the first stand-alone restaurant at sea by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, who also serves as the cruise line’s Fresh Fish Ambassador, which is part of the brand’s global fresh fish program. Chef Morimoto was present for opening night, along with Holland America Line executives and Nieuw Amsterdam guests.

During the opening celebration, Chef Morimoto conducted a traditional sake barrel ceremony where he cracked open the barrel and shared the sake with opening-night attendees for a toast.

“We recently transformed space on Nieuw Amsterdam into a beautiful Morimoto By Sea restaurant, and we are thrilled to be here to officially open the dining experience for our guests,” said Michael Stendebach, vice president of food, beverage and rooms division at Holland America Line. “Adding Morimoto By Sea both as a stand-alone venue and a pop-up is another way we continue to elevate our culinary offerings, and we are honored to have Chef Morimoto on board to celebrate the launch.”

The Morimoto By Sea restaurant on Nieuw Amsterdam is part of Holland America Line’s global fresh fish program, which also includes a Morimoto By Sea pop-up experience once per cruise on the fleet’s other 10 ships in either Pinnacle Grill or Tamarind. The dishes served at Morimoto By Sea — and seafood offerings across Holland America Line’s fleet — are sourced from a global network of 60 ports to serve 80 types of fresh fish on board.

Morimoto By Sea on Nieuw Amsterdam can be found adjacent to the Tamarind restaurant on the Observation Deck. Guests dining at Morimoto By Sea, which is open nightly, enjoy a multi-course meal highlighting the cuisine of Chef Morimoto and the cruise line’s fresh fish program. The menu also includes a selection of beef, chicken, vegetarian and vegan options, and a sushi menu for additional purchase.

“I am always excited to open a new restaurant, and this grand opening is very special because it is my first restaurant on a cruise ship,” said Chef Morimoto. “I’ve cooked on land, on television, and now on the oceans. I look forward to Holland America Line guests experiencing my dishes.”

In addition to cuisine, the restaurant features Chef Morimoto’s exclusive alcoholic beverages, including Morimoto Dream Brut Rosé and Morimoto Junmai Daiginjo Sake, that complement the dishes on the menu.

For its opening night, Morimoto By Sea was fully booked, with guests indulging in a selection of dishes including Hamachi Tacos, Ishiyaki Buri Bop, Japanese Vegetable Curry, Slow Cooked Alaskan King Salmon and White Chocolate Lime Ganache.

Cunard Previews Queen Anne’s New Indian-Themed Restaurant
Cunard has given an exclusive preview of Queen Anne’s new Indian-themed restaurant, Aranya.

The immersive dining experience was held in The Verandah on board Queen Victoria in Southampton today (11 December), giving VIP guests a never-before-tasted sampling of the Aranya concept.

The three-course meal was delivered by Surjan Singh, fondly known across the culinary world as Chef Jolly, a highly acclaimed Indian chef who is working with the luxury cruise line to develop the Aranya menu.

His achievements span three decades and include senior positions at the Taj Palace in New Delhi, the Goa Marriott Resort, the JW Marriott Mumbai, the Renaissance Mumbai, and London Marriott West India Quay Hotel. He has also enjoyed highly popular stints on MasterChef India and MasterChef Junior, India.

Alongside Cunard’s Culinary Development team, led by Gareth Bowen, the acclaimed chef delivered a host of delectable dishes for the festive feast, starting with a selection of appetizers including smoked chilly pork belly with buttered pao and pickled red cabbage; roasted sweet potato Tikki with a cumin-beet puree; and a sweet pea, goat’s cheese and almond kofta.

A choice of mains comprised roasted wild turbot with tamarind chilli tomato; slow roasted beef short rib with caramelized red onion-cashew nut yogurt gravy; masala roasted cauliflower with wild mushrooms; and a pot sealed Biryani filled with Welsh lamb shoulder.

To finish, a trio of desserts were served – a jamun, passionfruit mascarpone with a hazelnut nougat; a Malai- Lychee kulfi; and a fresh cut fruit chaat masala.

Each dish showcased the expertise, attention to detail and uniqueness of the Aranya experience.

Aranya

As an all-new taste direction for Cunard, Aranya (meaning forest or wilderness in Sanskrit) has been designed to surprise and delight guests, taking diners on a journey through the rich spice flavors of India with menus curated by experts in their field.

It’s intended to transport guests on a multi-sensory tour of the Indian subcontinent, from the vibrancy of the flavors to the luxurious interiors, which include stunning floor-to-ceiling windows to ensure magnificent views while dining.

Wherever guests decide to take their taste buds is their choice, be it the sprawling bazaars of Delhi, the lush green pastures of Kerala, or perhaps the golden sands of Goa. Aranya’s strength is its playful interpretations of classic Indian cuisine, and every evening is a new adventure.

Aranya is one of four additional dining experiences that will be available on Queen Anne – alongside Aji Wa, Sir Samuels, and Tramonto – which will offer guests more choice than ever before. The evening-only dining venue will be available to guests as a supplement, complementing the inclusive fare options offered for lunch or dinner elsewhere on the ship.

Katie McAlister, President of Cunard, said: “We always strive to deliver unparalleled culinary experiences at sea and we were absolutely thrilled to share a sneak peak of what’s to come with Aranya, which will be one of the most exciting dining venues aboard our newest ship Queen Anne. Cunard is renowned for high-quality dining options, and we’re delighted to be introducing more venues that reflect the vibrancy and varied cultural tastes of our guests. Queen Anne will offer more choices of entertainment, dining, and bars than ever before and we’re so excited to be working with chefs at the very top of their game, such as Surjan Singh, to ensure that our new Queen surprises and delights guests not just in her maiden season but for many years to come.”

Surjan Singh (Chef Jolly), Aranya Development Chef, added: “It is an absolute pleasure to be working with Cunard on such an exciting project. Aranya is not just a restaurant, it is a multi-sensory culinary experience that is designed to immerse diners in the rich spice flavors of the Indian subcontinent. Every dish has been curated with authenticity and quality at its heart, resulting in a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation that I hope diners will remember long after their voyage.”

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.93 + 3.10%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 128.21 + 5.87%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 20.95 + 3.10%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the first new North Atlantic liner built after World War II?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What is the largest twin-screw ocean liner ever built?

Answer - The largest twin-screw ocean liner ever built was Cunard's QE2. courtesy of Robert in Newport News, Virginia


Cruise News - December 18, 2023

Princess Cruises Appoints Captains for Star Princess
Princess Cruises announced the two captains who will serve as masters of the line's second, sensational Sphere Class cruise ship, Star Princess, during an official keel laying ceremony in Monfalcone, Italy.

Captain Gennaro Arma, who currently serves as the newbuild site lead for the construction of both Sun Princess and Star Princess, will be master of the 17th Princess ship when she debuts in summer 2025, bringing her into service from the shipyard. When Captain Arma is on leave, Commodore Nick Nash will take over the navigation and leadership of Star Princess.

"It is my privilege to introduce and congratulate the masters of the stunning new Star Princess," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "Captain Arma and Commodore Nash have remarkable histories with Princess, and will provide great experience and excellent leadership on our newest vessel."

Commodore Nick Nash, a 33-year veteran of Princess Cruises, was promoted to the rank of commodore of the line's global fleet in 2020. He currently serves as captain of Enchanted Princess, having navigated the ship out of the Fincantieri shipyard for the first time. Commodore Nash first joined the company in 1989 and was promoted to staff captain in 1997. In 2002, he became captain and has been at the helm of many Princess vessels. Commodore Nash also has served as President of the Nautical Institute and after two years now serves on the council. He was awarded the United Kingdom's Merchant Navy Medal for meritorious service in 2018. He is a Chartered Master Mariner, a Fellow of The Nautical Institute, The Royal Institute of Navigation, The Royal Geographical Society and a Younger Brother of Trinity House.

Captain Gennaro Arma has always been passionate about the sea. He began his career with Princess Cruises in 1998 as a Cadet and moved up the ranks achieving his first command as Captain of Sea Princess in 2015, where he navigated the ship on two world cruises. He took the helm of Diamond Princess in 2018 and in 2020 and was honored with the recognition of Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, the highest of the orders of the Italian Republic, and selected among the 20 most influential Italian characters of the year by Vanity Fair in December 2020. Arma has also received the title of Magister of Amalfi Civilization for the Byzantine New Year, the Emanuela Loi award for courage, and the Assarmatori prize from the Italian maritime association awarded by the Minister of Transportation. He most recently served as captain of Discovery Princess. He was born in Sorrento, Italy, where he lives with his wife Mariana and his son Diego.

Star Princess makes her debut in August 2025.

Carnival Vista Rescues Six People After Cargo Vessel Capsizes
Carnival Vista’s team saved six men stranded in the ocean near the Dominican Republic early this morning after a small cargo vessel capsized overnight. A successful search and rescue operation for six additional vessel crew was carried out thereafter by Coast Guard authorities.

Carnival Vista’s officers under the direction of Captain Paolo Severini immediately altered the ship’s course, in coordination with Carnival’s Fleet Operations Center in Miami, when an onboard monitoring system received an emergency alert. The ship’s officers then spotted six men on a life raft and stopped to rescue them and bring them on board.

The Carnival team informed Coast Guard officials about the additional missing crew members. The officials launched a search for the remaining crew members and advised Carnival Vista to return to its route. Coast Guard officials confirmed they later rescued the six additional crew members.

Carnival Vista will visit Amber Cove today as scheduled. The ship, which is homeported in Port Canaveral, Fla., is currently sailing a six-day itinerary that departed Sunday.

Lionel Messi Named Official Icon for Royal Caribbean's New Vacation
An iconic kickoff is set to mark the start of a new era of vacations when Royal Caribbean International's revolutionary Icon of the Seas debuts January 2024. The world's largest cruise line has revealed sports icon Lionel Messi is the official Icon of Icon of the Seas. As the Icon of the first-of-its-kind combination of every vacation, the most decorated fútbol player in history will welcome the new ship at an exclusive naming celebration in Miami.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time, Messi has and continues to set a long list of records throughout his career that includes winning the prestigious Ballon d'Or award eight times and being named TIME's 2023 Athlete of the Year for ushering in a new era of fútbol in the U.S. when he joined Royal Caribbean partner and new Leagues Cup champion Inter Miami CF. In its own right, Icon has also marked record-breaking moments. The highly anticipated vacation's reveal in October 2022 spurred the single largest booking day and highest volume booking week in the cruise line's then 53-year history, confirming vacationers are looking for a getaway that combines the best of every type of vacation – from the beach retreat to the resort escape and the theme park adventure – now more than ever. With six record-setting waterslides, seven pools, the first neighborhood designed for young families, more than 40 ways to dine, drink and be entertained, and more, Icon is where every type of family and adventurer can make memories together and on their own without compromise.

"I'm thrilled and honored to join the Royal Caribbean family to celebrate the arrival of the game-changing Icon of the Seas," said Lionel Messi, Royal Caribbean International's Icon of Icon. "Icon is beyond anything else that's out there for family vacations, with incredible never-before-seen features, all designed for making memories together."

Messi's new role follows the recent announcement of Royal Caribbean and Inter Miami CF's unprecedented partnership in which the cruise line is the Club's Main Partner and Official Vacation Partner. United in the sense of leadership, passion and delivering unforgettable moments to fans and vacationers, Royal Caribbean and Inter Miami CF will also celebrate the arrival of Icon with the next phase of the partnership – details which will be revealed at a later date.

"Icon of the Seas is the culmination of more than 50 years of delivering memorable vacations, and it's set to live up to its name in more ways than one when it changes the vacation industry in January 2024," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "It's that ability to make such a widespread impact and change the status quo that the Icon of Icon must personify, and Lionel Messi has proven to be the perfect example of that for years in the world of sports and most recently in introducing a new era of excitement and passion for fútbol in Miami and the U.S."

As part of a longstanding maritime tradition, Messi will take part in the iconic naming celebration for Icon in January 2024 in Miami. The Icon of Icon will have the honor of bestowing safekeeping onto the new ship, its crew and the millions of families who will create memories of a lifetime on board in the years to come.

Whether "family vacation" means getting away as a family, couple or friends, everyone can make memories their way every day with Icon's all-encompassing lineup of firsts and next-level favorites across eight neighborhoods. Each neighborhood is a destination in itself filled with a variety of experiences, live entertainment, restaurants, bars and more.

Rounding out the world's best vacation are the sun-soaked destinations vacationers can visit year-round while on Icon. Each 7-night Eastern or Western Caribbean adventure from Miami is all about island hopping, featuring idyllic locales across the Caribbean – like Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas – and an unmatched day of thrill and chill at Royal Caribbean's award-winning private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas. Plus, dialing up the perfect on Perfect Day in January 2024 is the private island's first adults-only oasis, Hideaway Beach, an all-day experience complete with a private beach, pools, spots for drinks and bites, exclusive cabanas, live music and more.

Holland America Line Completes Installation of SpaceX's Starlink on All Cruise Ships
Holland America Line has experienced a notable surge in guest satisfaction with internet service this year as the cruise line completes the installation of SpaceX's Starlink high-speed internet on each of the 11 ships in its fleet. The final ship, Nieuw Amsterdam, was outfitted with the technology in mid-December during drydock. Starlink is the leader in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology providing high-speed internet around the world.

Holland America Line first installed Starlink internet on Koningsdam in April 2023. Connectivity has significantly improved across the fleet with each Starlink installation, which is particularly noticeable in historically spotty service areas where weather, topography or port interference can impact bandwidth and quality.

"Holland America Line's commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technologies underscores our dedication to delivering an exceptional experience to our guests and team members," said Gus Antorcha, president, Holland America Line. "The successful integration of Starlink represents a strategic move to embrace innovation and elevate connectivity and convenience while cruising."

Guests and team members across Holland America Line's fleet are noticing the improvement in connectivity. Since installing the advanced high-speed internet, Holland America Line has seen increased satisfaction scores along with stronger bandwidth in key regions.

"We've heard from guests the new Starlink high-speed internet is better than they expected while cruising," said Kathleen Erickson, vice president of technology for Holland America Line. "For guests who are working remotely from our ships, it has been a game-changer. And for team members who rely on internet to stay connected with family back home, this is an important improvement."

The upgrade to Starlink internet ensures a more reliable connection in all weather conditions and locations. The high-speed internet is especially crucial for professional communications, enabling remote work for guests on board in regions such as Alaska where traditional technology can face interference from weather and mountains. The ships have also seen improvement in connectivity in other challenging areas including ocean crossings and sailings in the Amazon, Antarctica and Chile. news_cu_queen_anne.jpg

Cunard Announces 50 Exclusive Queen Anne Shore Experiences in 2024
With less than six months until Queen Anne's maiden voyage, Cunard has announced a treasure trove of exclusive, new shore experiences for guests sailing on Queen Anne during her maiden season.

The luxury cruise line is offering 50 signature shore experiences, across 60 ports, providing travelers a variety of immersive encounters with local culture, history, and natural wonders all over Europe.

In total, the exciting new program comprises more than 700 shore experiences for the 115 calls that Queen Anne will make in 2024.

From an exclusive orchestral performance in a secret location in the heart of Barcelona to a behind-the-scenes tour of St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, these carefully curated experiences will showcase some of the very best experiences that the world's most fascinating destinations have to offer.

Whether it's savoring local delicacies and wine tasting in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Enchanted Forest of Madeira or joining a Fjord Safari to a Goat Cheese Farm in Norway, Queen Anne's signature shore experiences are designed for culinary connoisseurs, nature lovers, adventurers, and everyone in between.

The elevated nature of Queen Anne's hand-picked signature shore experiences allows guests to skip the lines and beat the crowds at several of Europe's best-loved tourist attractions, whilst others are a little off the beaten track – such as an exclusive visit to a gold and silversmith studio in Bergen, which has been producing fine jewelry, interior design pieces, and fine silverware for more than 150 years.

Throughout her maiden season, Queen Anne will sail from Southampton on itineraries to the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, the Canary Islands, and the Norwegian Fjords, visiting more than 60 unique destinations in 16 countries – taking in several of Europe's most enchanting ancient cities.

She will set sail on May 3, 2024, for her seven-night maiden voyage to La Coruna and Lisbon. She will then depart for a 14-night voyage in the Canary Islands before traveling around the British Isles, visiting Scotland and Ireland, as well as Cunard's founding home port and spiritual home, Liverpool.

Katie McAlister, President of Cunard, said: "We are all incredibly excited to welcome Queen Anne to the Cunard fleet in May and it is only right that her maiden season is complemented with a truly captivating shore experience program. Our teams have worked meticulously to curate these 50 signature experiences to ensure that our guests encounter the essence of every port they explore. From ancient ruins and culinary escapades to helicopter rides and private snorkeling sessions, we're delighted to be able to offer such exciting new shore experiences to Queen Anne's guests."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.36 + 4.14%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 121.10 + 0.57%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 20.32 + 10.31%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What is the largest twin-screw ocean liner ever built?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which ocean liner had the first on-board movie theater/cinema?

Answer - The first theater/Cinema at sea was aboard the French Lines Normandie of 1935. courtesy of Dave in Los Angeles


Cruise News - December 11, 2023

Regent Christens of Seven Seas Grandeur
Regent Seven Seas Cruises hosted a glistening gala celebration in Miami, Florida on December 10, 2023, to welcome its newest ship, Seven Seas Grandeur, A Heritage of Perfection. VIP guests, including travel partners, local community leaders, media and loyal past guests, were invited to the exclusive black-tie evening ceremony on board the highly anticipated new vessel. The celebratory event marked a major milestone of Regent’s three decades of expertise in luxury cruising as the cruise line officially welcomed the sixth ship of The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet.

As part of the celebrations, Regent unveiled Journey in Jewels, the first Fabergé Egg to permanently reside at sea. The Pièce de Résistance of a 1,600-piece art collection, the custom-designed masterpiece will now be on display in Seven Seas Grandeur’s stunning atrium, for all future luxury travelers to enjoy. The event also featured incredible entertainment from Emmy and Tony Award-Winning actress and singer and New Times best-selling author Kristin Chenoweth.

Sarah Fabergé, Founding Member of the Fabergé Heritage Council and great-granddaughter of Peter Carl Fabergé, performed her godmother duties at the elegant and exclusive gala event while wearing bespoke Fabergé jewelry, which will be auctioned for the Gemfields Foundation.

“Seven Seas Grandeur is the most anticipated new luxury ship to set sail this year, an achievement made possible through the combined craftmanship and exquisite eye for design excellence by Studio DADO and Fincantieri, who together with our team at Regent, have delivered a truly remarkable work of art,” said Harry Sommer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “Each feature of this ship is more jaw-dropping than the last, from the world-class collection of art and tantalizing epicurean experiences, to the lavishly designed suites, restaurants, bars and lounges. Seven Seas Grandeur sets a new standard for service and comfort in the travel industry, and we are delighted to present this incredible new ship to discerning travelers as they explore the world with Regent.”

Inspired by the past and stunningly reimagined for the future, Seven Seas Grandeur exemplifies Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Heritage of Perfection with unrivaled space, unparalleled service, Epicurean Perfection, fascinating art and transformative experiences for guests as soon as they step on board. With a gross tonnage of 55,500, a crew of 548 staff and only 746 guests, the new ship will provide among the highest space- and staff-to-guest ratios in the industry.

Designed by the award-winning Studio DADO, Seven Seas Grandeur’s refined style, matchless elegance, and captivating beauty will exceed the expectations of luxury travelers. On board, guests will find captivatingly reimagined designs for signature restaurants such as Compass Rose, Chartreuse and Prime 7 among the exquisite dining choices. Seven Seas Grandeur features 15 stunning accommodation categories including the palatial, $11,000-a-night Regent Suite, contemporary yet timeless Distinctive Suites, and the beautifully appointed Spacious Suites.

“In a word, Seven Seas Grandeur is breathtaking, and we have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to christen our magnificent new ship,” said Andrea DeMarco, President of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “Regent is the pinnacle of luxury experiences, but not simply because we have the world’s most luxurious fleet with unrivaled space at sea. It’s the people who bring the Regent vision to life, delivering unforgettable moments to our guests that last a lifetime. Our success over the last 30 years has only been possible because of the tireless work and unwavering commitment to delivering unrivaled experiences by our crew and team members in our global offices each and every day.”

Following the gala event, guests on board Seven Seas Grandeur embarked on a three-night Caribbean sailing with everything the ship that embodies 30 years of unrivaled experiences has to offer, from unrivaled space in luxuriously appointed suites, to impeccable service in lavish bars and lounges, to epicurean perfection in five exquisite gourmet restaurants, and not forgetting free unlimited and immersive shore excursions.

Villa Vie Residences Purchases Braemar from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
Villa Vie Residences, an innovative new world cruise brand has purchased the former Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ship, The Braemar to be named Villa Vie Odyssey. The 924-passenger, 24,344 GRT vessel will enter service in May 2024 following the completion of a multimillion-dollar transformation into a residential cruise ship complete with villas as residences.

Villa Vie Residences CEO Mikael Petterson states, "The ship's name symbolizes the company ethos of creating a community to share unforgettable moments of discovery on an extended journey, connecting people, places, and self." Villa Vie Odyssey will offer an intimate, new cruise lifestyle, able to reach parts of the world that larger ships cannot access, often docking in the heart of destinations. The ship's flatter hull enables her to navigate inland waterways and rivers too. In October 2019 (sailing as The Braemar), she became the longest ship ever to transit the Corinth Canal.

Villa Vie Odyssey will feature eight decks including cascading aft decks and a wrap-around promenade. Lengthened in 2009 and refurbished in 2019, she offers three restaurants, eight bars and four lounges, an extended pool with four Jacuzzis, a spa and fitness center, and a well-stocked library. Petterson adds, "Villa Vie Odyssey will be customized for her immersive, 3.5-year global circumnavigations, ensuring all the comforts and amenities of home."

Amongst the things unique to the company is its 'for the residents, by the residents' approach. As founders themselves, residents own the majority of Villa Vie's shares and actively participate in decision making - choosing themselves to name their ship, Odyssey. Laura, a Founders Club member and resident, shares, "Villa Vie isn't like a regular corporation–it's open and we feel a part of it."

A large, central business center will allow the digital nomad to flourish at sea with private offices and conference spaces. Starlink and Viasat 3 will provide fast and reliable internet access for all residents and guests. The ship will also feature an interactive and educational culinary center, as well as a pioneering golf around the world program complete with onboard golf simulator and tours and classes led by a Master PGA Professional.

With bold innovation, Villa Vie Residences is transforming the way people experience global travel with a visionary approach. Travelers may choose to own or rent their villa. The company offers the opportunity to explore the world while living aboard a cruise ship at a price comparable to traditional condominium ownership. For $89 per day, each resident will enjoy an all-inclusive lifestyle where rent, utilities, food, travel, and entertainment are all included.

Additionally, the brand is answering to customer demand for heightened flexibility with its unique, "pay-as-you-go" concept that allows travelers to select and combine various portions of its world cruise itinerary. Offering never-before-seen options to travel the world, Villa Vie Residences empowers adventurers with extraordinary opportunities to experience 425 ports across 147 countries for 1,301 days on a meticulously crafted continuous world cruise. Stays in port range from 2- to 7-days.

Princess Cruises' New Shining Star Princess Begins Countdown to Summer 2025 Debut
Princess Cruises and the line's partners at Fincantieri Shipyard today celebrated the beginning of construction of the second, sensational Sphere Class cruise ship – Star Princess – with the official keel laying ceremony in Monfalcone, Italy.

The keel, the bottommost part of the ship and main foundation, is the first block of the vessel to be constructed. Star Princess' 500-ton (1.1 million pound) keel was ceremoniously lowered by crane into position on the keel blocks in the dry dock, where the ship will remain until the float out. The computer-guided maneuver took only minutes, commencing the more than two million man-hours that will ultimately go into building the cruise ship.

Followed by a traditional blessing and ceremony, Princess and Fincantieri executives welded a Princess Medallion into the ship, believed to bring good luck to the vessel and all who sail on her.

"Our multi-decade shipbuilding collaboration continues to progress as we build spectacular ships that are enabled by the most advanced technology available while infusing magnificent Italian craftsmanship and respecting beautiful Princess design heritage," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president.

Star Princess joins her sister ship, Sun Princess, as the largest ships ever built for Princess at 175,500 tons and carrying 4,300 guests. The new ship is built on a platform that is distinctly different and unique to Princess, designed to simultaneously embrace the Princess heritage while celebrating the romance of the sea by offering more dynamic, outward views.

While 20 percent larger than any of the line's existing ships, Star Princess' design retains the more intimate settings Princess is known for, with several new and incredibly ground-breaking spaces such as:

• The Dome, a transformational entertainment venue inspired by the terraces of Santorini.

• Next-level Piazza, featuring a glass sphere.

• "See it to believe it" Princess Arena, a configurable, technologically-advanced main theater that allows Princess to produce a variety of innovative entertainment concepts

• A majestic, three-story dining room positioned aft of the ship to deliver unforgettable wake views

Guests also will love the expanded accommodations options with luxurious staterooms and suites, elevating the art of relaxation and serenity. Star Princess guests can enjoy the exclusive Princess Experience, powered by the Medallion, that extends Princess' leadership position in delivering exceptional personalized experiences.

The new ship will be the second in the Princess fleet to be powered by LNG fuel technology and also is being built with the most advanced sustainable innovations available.

Star Princess makes her debut in August 2025

Cunard Announces Queen Elizabeth's 2025 Alaska Season
Adventure seekers can embark on an extraordinary holiday at sea in 2025 as Cunard announces the launch of its highly anticipated Alaska 2025 season.

Sailing roundtrip from Seattle, the luxury cruise line can reveal that Queen Elizabeth will offer 11 voyages in Alaska, ranging from 7 to 11 nights, from June 12 until September 25.

Whether whale watching from their stateroom or exploring The Great Land on shore, only on Queen Elizabeth can guests immerse themselves in Alaska and experience a world of unique opportunities and unexpected inspiration. With Alaska Native Voices onboard, including a Cultural Heritage Guide, plus a Naturalist on every sailing to provide distinctive deck commentary, there's no better way to experience the majestic scenery and local culture of Alaska than with Cunard.

With 24 late evening departures, guests will have an abundance of time to explore port cities such as Ketchikan, adorned with colorful totem poles, or Sitka, where 22 buildings have earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places.

The truly stunning Hubbard Glacier is a must-see for travelers exploring this beautiful region, and in Icy Strait Point, guests can join a whale-watching expedition or experience the thrill of riding the world's largest zipline.

Meanwhile, the UNESCO-listed Glacier Bay National Park, with its ice-capped mountains and towering glaciers, promises to be a highlight of any Alaska voyage. Other calls include Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm Fjord, Endicott Arm, and Hubbard Glacier.

On board Queen Elizabeth, guests will be fully immersed in the Alaska experience. Renowned explorers and accomplished adventurers will share their heroic feats, providing a unique educational component to the journey. This season we are honored to have onboard the legendary mountaineer Kenton Cool, the fearless polar skier Preet Chandi, and the acclaimed wildlife filmmaker Doug Allen. Their expertise promises to elevate each voyage and we can only imagine that 2025 will bring an even more extraordinary line-up of captivating programming.

Katie McAlister, President of Cunard said: "We are incredibly excited to offer guests the new opportunity of sailing roundtrip into Alaska from Seattle. Due to strong guest demand, Cunard is offering a full summer season in Alaska, allowing travelers to delve into the region's wildlife and visit extraordinary cities, with extended time in port to fully appreciate this captivating destination."

To delve even further into the Alaskan culture, guests onboard will savor indigenous flavors foraged from land and sea, for a dining experience that complements the breath-taking surroundings, while indulging in cocktails inspired by Alaska's glacial scenery.

Love by Britto - Artistically Inspired Dining Experience Celebrating "Love" - Debuting on Sun Princess
In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, Princess Cruises today announced it is joining with Romero Britto, the world-renowned artist known for his bold, colorful, and joyful style, and a global advocate for happiness, to create Love by Britto, an artistic-inspired dining experience celebrating the essence of "Love" aboard Sun Princess.

Located on deck 17 at the aft of the spectacular new ship, Love by Britto is a groundbreaking addition to the Sun Princess experience portfolio. The new dining experience serves as an exquisite showcase of the artist's iconic and joyful designs against the backdrop of a boutique restaurant venue designed to immerse couples in a world of vivid colors, bold patterns, and heartfelt emotions, and create an ambiance of extraordinary service immersion.

Love and art converge with taste in an immersive culinary journey, showcasing a meticulously curated menu by culinary virtuoso Rudi Sodamin. With Sodamin's ingenious touch, Love by Britto transcends into a multisensory exploration, offering extraordinary dishes that embody profound passion, exquisite flavor, and boundless creativity.

"Love by Britto on the Sun Princess celebrates the universal language of love, expressed through Britto's vibrant art and design and promises to be uplifting and transformative for our guests," said John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises. "With a perfect blend of art, beauty, and soul, Love by Britto is destined to leave a lasting impression."

Set to debut when the newest ship from The Love Boat launches in early 2024, all elements of the innovative new concept - the setting, the artwork, the menu – have been uniquely designed to create an unparalleled dining destination. Love by Britto is a testament to Princess Cruises' unwavering commitment to creating exceptional experiences that transcend the ordinary.

"With Love by Britto, we've created a one-of-a-kind experience that showcases the harmony between food, art, and the universal language of love, to create an experience that's meant to be savored," said Britto. "On the amazing Sun Princess, we're going to celebrate love for life every evening by pairing an incredibly unique vibe along with exceptional cuisine to create a setting for everyone to indulge their senses and emotions."

"Considered the most licensed artist in history, Britto is the founder of the Happy Art Movement and has created an iconic visual language of happiness, fun, love, and hope all its own inspiring millions worldwide," added Lucas Vidal, CEO of the BRITTO brand and organization.

Brazilian-born and Miami-made, Britto's work has been exhibited in the most prestigious galleries and museums in over 120 countries, including the Carrousel Du Louvre and he was the first living visual artist to present his work at the Soumaya Museum. He also has created innumerous public and private art installations, not to mention the largest in the history of London's Hyde Park. He did the opening of the Super Bowl XLI in collaboration with the Cirque Du Soleil, was the official artist for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, ambassador to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, honorary torch bearer and ambassador for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Love by Britto will feature a seven-course, prix fixe menu ($149 per person) beginning with a flute of Champagne upon arrival and features luxury ingredients including lobster, caviar and truffles, and dessert options that always include chocolate fondue.

Specifically featured across the seven-course meal are dishes highlighted by delectable and intoxicating aphrodisiacs, like Oysters with Champagne Pearls or Grilled Fig with Prosciutto and Roquefort as featured starters, followed by savory soups like Asparagus and Watermelon Cocktail with Vodka.

Also on the menu are savory salad options that feature quail eggs, pomegranate and avocado. Fish dishes like Lobster Thermidor with Clams and Wild Rice, and Honey-Basted Wild Salmon. Meats like Wagyu Chateaubriand Rossini and Roast Quail Farci with Truffles. Champagne flavored sorbet with Rose Petals to cleanse the palate. And heavenly dessert options in addition to chocolate fondue that range from Iced Soufflé Tahiti Vanilla and White Valrhona Chocolate with Hot Raspberries, to Hot Chocolate Soufflé with Hot Bing Cherries.

"Food is the international language of love," said Rudi Sodamin, head of culinary arts for Princess Cruises. "It could not be more perfect for Princess, home of The Love Boat!"

Love by Britto headlines a delectable assortment of expanded restaurant options aboard the highly anticipated Sun Princess, the next generation ship from Princess.

Other new selections among the 30 exciting bars and restaurant found onboard include a Princess first Japanese Teppanyaki restaurant, an authentic Irish Pub, a new area to dedicated to casual eats, a completely revamped approach to World Fresh Marketplace, and two exciting pop-up concepts from celebrity chefs Dario Cecchini, and Sodamin, along with Princess favorites like Crown Grill, Sabatini's, Kai Sushi and Alfredo's Pizzeria.

The new ship places a premium on fresh cuisine and craft cocktails while offering spectacular views, from casual al fresco bistros and a fresh daily marketplace, to a lively pub, Asian-inspired sushi and teppanyaki, signature specialty restaurants and more.

"We've been inspired to design restaurants and lounges that reflect the stunning views, ocean vistas and sunshiny days that will be experienced across Sun Princess," added Padgett. "New and favorite venues will serve up vibrant flavors, pour perfectly satisfying cocktails and offer the most amazing settings for our guests to share stories around the table."

Currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, the 175,500-ton, 4,300-guest Sun Princess will also offer an array of exciting new entertainment and activity offerings, as well as luxurious staterooms and suites across a broad spectrum of categories.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 17.63 + 7.83%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 120.41 + 5.43%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 18.42 + 5.26%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which ocean liner had the first on-board movie theater/cinema?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What Holland America ship was nicknamed "Funneldam"?

Answer - The Potsdam of 1900 got the nick name Funneldam due to her tall funnel. The ship was sold in 1915 to the Swedish America Line and renamed Stockholm. courtesy of Joseph Cant, Montreal, Canada


Cruise News - December 4, 2023

Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Ascent Christened
Celebrity Cruises today introduced the world to its newest cruise ship - Celebrity Ascent - in a special naming ceremony.

Headlining the festivities were her inspiring co-Godmothers, Captain Sandy Yawn, star of Bravo TV's hit franchise, Below Deck, and her sister Michelle Dunham, Founder of the Jacksonville School for Autism, who officially named the ship in true maritime tradition with the breaking of a champagne bottle on the ship’s hull. They were joined by Greek brothers Captain Dimitrios Kafetzis and Captain Tasos Kafetzis, who will take the helm of the new ship, after being named Co-Captains of Celebrity Ascent, a first for the brand and the industry.

The ceremony was fitting for a ship that shatters preconceived notions of cruising with its forward-thinking design by the world's leading architects and interior designers; culinary excellence from Michelin starred chefs; expansive onboard entertainment and more.

Kicking off its inaugural Caribbean season, Ascent will set sail from Ft. Lauderdale on Dec. 3 and travel on a 7-night Eastern Caribbean sailing, visiting such popular destinations as St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and the Dominican Republic.

“With each new ship, our ambition is to debut the ultimate vacation experience and Celebrity Ascent achieves this by raising the bar for premium travel,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group. “Her elevated design and new onboard experiences set her apart from competitors and serve as a new benchmark for the travel industry.”

"Celebrity Ascent has been designed to feed our guests travel wanderlust and provide unique experiences they will covet and love,” said Laura Hodges Bethge, President at Celebrity Cruises. "Captain Sandy and her sister Michelle, co-Godmothering Celebrity Ascent, add another, and more personal dimension, to this already extraordinary ship. Their connection, combined with the brotherly bond of the ship's captains, exemplifies the sense of welcome and warm hospitality we strive for on every cruise."

Vacation Experience Highlights

Celebrity Ascent joins a series of ships without comparison and is a sister ship to Celebrity Beyond which debuted to great acclaim last year. Distinctive ship features and new experiences include:

• The Retreat, an exclusive resort-within-a-resort area for suite guests, highlighted by a two-story sundeck;

• Accommodations for modern tastes from modern two-story villas with private plunge pools to staterooms with infinite verandas, blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living;

• An expanded Rooftop Garden and stunning Resort Deck featuring unique cantilevered float pools;

• A multi-level, multi-terraced Sunset Bar at the ship's aft;

• An expanded onboard entertainment program featuring a transformative nightlife experience on the Resort Deck, six new live productions, interactive gaming experiences, and live music from bow to stern;

• A redesigned casino floor and brand-new games;

• A new outdoor dining terrace at Blu, the brand's clean cuisine restaurant, available for al fresco daytime dining;

• An exclusive culinary experience in Le Voyage by Chef Daniel Boulud;

• And, the return of the Magic Carpet, an engineering feat soaring cantilevered above the sea, offering guests uninterrupted vistas while sipping cocktails or having dinner.

Setting Sail on Celebrity Ascent

Following Celebrity Ascent's maiden voyage, she will offer a variety of alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations through late April, when she then heads to the Mediterranean for sailings from Barcelona and Rome. Vacation sailing options include:

• The 7-Night Bahamas, Mexico and Grand Cayman itinerary or the 7-Night San Juan, Tortola and St. Kitts itinerary from mid-December 2023 to early April 2024;

• The 7-Night Bahamas, Mexico and Grand Cayman Holiday Cruise departing on December 24, 2023;

• The New Year’s cruise departing on December 31, 2023 for 7 nights and visiting San Juan, Tortola and St. Kitts;

• Kicking off the summer with the ultimate Mediterranean getaway on the 9-Night Italian Riviera and France itinerary;

• Or, crossing Rome, Naples, Mykonos, and Santorini off a bucket-list during the 12-Night Best of Greece and Italy

Carnival Jubilee Joins Carnival Fleet
Carnival Cruise Line today welcomed Carnival Jubilee, the third ship in its award-winning Excel-class, during a delivery event with ship builder Meyer Werft in Bremerhaven, Germany. As the 26th Fun Ship in the Carnival fleet, Carnival Jubilee begins its journey to Galveston, Tex. where it will bring added capacity and offer an exciting mix of new entertainment, dining and fun to one of the cruise line’s most popular homeports.

Carnival President Christine Duffy, alongside Ben Clement, Carnival’s SVP of New Builds, Refurbishments & Product Innovation, and the ship’s senior officers, joined Meyer Werft Managing Director Jan Meyer, to welcome Carnival Jubilee, the first Carnival ship to be built in Papenburg, Germany. Once in Texas, Carnival Jubilee and her team will welcome guests for the first time on Dec. 23. The ship will sail from Galveston year-round on week-long Western Caribbean voyages.

“Carnival Jubilee is the fifth additional ship we’ve welcomed into our fleet since 2021 and an integral part of our growth strategy. This ship will bring our most dynamic offering of fun to one of our most popular homeports and will be a great addition to our plans to remain the number one cruise line in Galveston,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “From the thrill of the roller coaster, BOLT, to a piece of paradise at the Serenity retreat, and so much more, we’re delivering a new level of fun for our guests sailing from Galveston that will complement our current and upcoming operations there.”

In addition to Carnival Jubilee, additions to the Carnival fleet since 2021 include Mardi Gras (2021), Carnival Luminosa (2022), Carnival Celebration (2022), and Carnival Venezia (2023). Carnival Firenze will join the fleet in April 2024.

Carnival Jubilee ushers in a significant expansion of capacity from Galveston, one of Carnival’s top homeports. Carnival was the first cruise line to sail year-round from Galveston in 2001, and the new ship with a Texas star on its bow is a Texas-sized symbol of the cruise line’s loyal and intense following by guests and travel advisors in the region. Carnival Jubilee will join Carnival Breeze and Carnival Dream at the port as part of a four-ship deployment plan that will be complete when Carnival Miracle repositions to Galveston in October 2024.

Over the past month, Carnival Jubilee’s captain and senior officers have led the final trials to test the ship’s seaworthiness, completing many technical and nautical operations ahead of its transatlantic voyage and arrival to Galveston on Dec. 20. The 183,000 gross-ton ship can accommodate approximately 6,400 guests at full capacity, plus 1,750 crew. The ship is Carnival’s third to be powered by a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system, the first cruise ship to run on LNG from Galveston and will operate out of Terminal 25 at the Port of Galveston which underwent a recent $53 million investment to accommodate the ship and provide an enhanced guest experience.

Margaritaville at Sea Adds Second Ship With Expanded Caribbean Itineraries
Announced today, Margaritaville at Sea is offering an entirely new way to float into island time aboard their new flagship vessel, the Margaritaville at Sea Islander (fomer Costa Atlantica 1999) . Starting June 14, 2024, the fully-reimagined ship will sail four- and five-night cruises with sun-soaked stops in Key West, Cozumel, and Progreso, expanding the growing cruise line's itinerary availability to the Gulf of Mexico along with entertainment-packed sea days designed to fully immerse guests in the Margaritaville state of mind. Guests can reserve 2024 sailings online starting today and take advantage of exclusive preview incentives available for a limited time.

"Since we launched our first ship, Margaritaville at Sea Paradise, last year, we've been working to expand what our guests have been asking for: more amazing views, longer itineraries, and new ports of call," said Christopher Ivy, CEO of Margaritaville at Sea. "The addition of the Islander is an exciting moment for Margaritaville at Sea and marks the next chapter of growth for our business." Christopher continued, "We are also pleased to add Tampa as a new homeport – the perfect location to provide access to our adventurous new itineraries in and around the Gulf of Mexico."

"We're honored Margaritaville at Sea has chosen Port Tampa Bay to homeport this new addition to their fleet and we welcome them to the Gulf Coast," said Paul Anderson, President and CEO of Port Tampa Bay. "Our port's cruise terminals are easy to navigate and provide a variety of unique and interesting activities just steps from the Margaritaville at Sea Islander. The ship will be a great addition to our portfolio of cruise lines and a fantastic new option for cruisers from Florida's west coast."

The Margaritaville at Sea Islander spans 12 passenger decks accommodating 2,650 adventure-seeking passengers. Currently undergoing an extensive transformation, Margaritaville at Sea will fully redesign all 1,100 staterooms with custom styling reminiscent of the sand, sea and sky and all new furnishings including Margaritaville's signature bedding, pillows, and linens. With more than 700 Breezy Balcony staterooms, Grand Terrace Suites, luxurious Corner Suites, and ultra-exclusive Islander suites, couples, families, and friends alike can chase the sunset from their spacious balconies with endless gulf breezes.

The ship will feature a soaring 14-story atrium with a unique nautical Margaritaville flip flop and a lively atrium bar with three awe-inspiring multi-story floating margarita glass chandeliers. Exclusive innovations like the only three-story poolside LandShark Bar at Sea and a Margaritaville-inspired cornhole and mini-golf course alongside new family-friendly spaces like the Caribbean Amphibian Splash and Slide and signature favorites like JWB Prime Steakhouse and Rita's Taco House will make sailing aboard the Margaritaville at Sea Islander a journey of discovery. The more than 250,000 guests who have sailed aboard the Palm Beach-based Margaritaville at Sea Paradise will find several familiar favorites, including Paradise Pickleball at Sea, Frank and Lola's Pizzeria, Margaritaville Coffee Shop, and Cheeseburger in Paradise, surrounded by unforgettable new spaces and experiences to explore.

"We are excited to expand our cruise line with the launch of Margaritaville at Sea Islander as our flagship vessel," said John Cohlan, CEO of Margaritaville Holdings. "The addition of this ship will allow our guests to visit more island destinations and, while at sea, enjoy a broader and more elevated range of fun and signature Margaritaville onboard experiences."

Margaritaville at Sea Islander's first available sailing will be June 14, 2024 on a 4-night itinerary from Port Tampa Bay, Florida featuring a stop in Cozumel, Mexico and two sea days.

Norwegian Cruise Line's All-new Norwegian Viva Completes Her Exclusive Christening Voyage
Norwegian Cruise Line today welcomed Norwegian Viva, the second ship in the award-winning Prima class, back to Miami following a celebratory voyage.

The cruise line officially christened its newest ship in Miami on Nov. 28, 2023 with exclusive performances and festivities.

"To christen Norwegian Viva in Miami is incredibly special to many of us at NCL, not only because Miami is our hometown, but also because we can share this moment with our local family and friends," said David J. Herrera, president of Norwegian Cruise Line. "Launching a ship is no solo endeavor. I am overwhelmed with gratitude towards the entire NCL team, our partners and especially our amazing crew who have contributed to bringing Norwegian Viva to life and who care for and deliver exceptional vacation experiences for our guests."

Following Norwegian Viva's debut this past August and its inaugural summer season of European voyages, over 1,500 guests joined the christening ceremony held in the Company's LEED Gold Certified terminal at PortMiami. The Prima Class is committed to breaking new ground in ship design and amenities, reflecting Norwegian Cruise Line's unwavering dedication to putting the guest and onboard experience at the forefront.

"As a Company, it has been a milestone year with the debut of next-generation ships across all three of our best-in-class cruise brands, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises," said Harry Sommer, president & chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. "The addition of Norwegian Viva further elevates our world-class fleet, providing our valued guests with another incredible way to vacation, discover new experiences and create unforgettable memories. Since she launched in August, Norwegian Viva's initial guest satisfaction scores have outshined any newbuild in the history of the NCL fleet, a testament to not only how stunning this ship is, but also the exceptional level of service and attention provided by our amazing crew on board."

Luis Fonsi, Norwegian Viva's godfather and GRAMMY Award-nominated singer, songwriter, musician, and producer, officially named and christened the vessel with the ceremonial champagne bottle break across the ship's hull which signifies good fortune and safe travels for all who sail aboard. As a native Puerto Rican, who is also based in Miami, Fonsi embodies the vibrant energy guests can enjoy aboard Norwegian Viva with warm-weather itineraries spanning from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean.

The celebration continued through the evening of Nov. 28 with an unparalleled and next-level entertainment lineup headlined by Fonsi, who performed his award-winning and global chart-topping hit "Despacito," among his other beloved Latin hits like "No Me Doy Por Vencido" and "Échame La Culpa." Other talented performers with authentic Miami and Latin roots took the stage, including "Saturday Night Live" cast member and Miami-native, Marcello Hernandez; the Queen of Latin Pop, Paulina Rubio; and recently announced GRAMMY Award-nominated artist, Pedro Capó.

"It was so exciting to celebrate the magnificent Norwegian Viva in true Latin-style in Miami and alongside fellow amazing Latin entertainers," said Luis Fonsi, award-winning global artist. "We gave her a proper despedida before she makes her debut in my hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico."

Norwegian Viva's christening festivities also included the unveiling and dedication of the Knut Kloster Hall, a newly added installation at the NCL Terminal that pays homage to the Company's founder, Knut Kloster, and colorfully shares details on NCL's 57-year history of innovation in the cruise industry.

At 965 feet long with the capacity for 3,099 guests, Norwegian Viva has unique, thrilling activities including the three-story Viva Speedway; elevated offerings such as Indulge Food Hall, an open-air food market featuring 11 unique eateries; and an awe-inspiring art collection with stand-out pieces including British digital artist Dominic Harris' 52-foot-wide interactive work of art named "Every Wing has a Silver Lining" installed at the Metropolitan Bar.

Following the three-day exclusive inaugural sailing, and select voyages from Miami, the ship will reposition to San Juan, Puerto Rico and be the newest ship to homeport in the destination when she arrives on Dec. 15, 2023. Through March 2024, Norwegian Viva will offer port-intensive seven-day Caribbean voyages, where guests will wake up each day in a new tropical island paradise with calls to Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. John's, Antigua; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands with no days at sea. In April 2024, Norwegian Viva will return to sail Mediterranean and Greek Isles itineraries that offer an unmatched opportunity to experience the beauty and culture of Europe. In addition, NCL's year-round 'Free at Sea' offer provides travelers with more value with vacation-enhancing benefits, including unlimited open bar, specialty dining, shore excursion credits, complimentary Wi-Fi, discounted rates for the third and fourth guests and free roundtrip airfare for the second guest.

Cunard to Celebrate Queen Anne with British Isles Festival Voyage
Cunard has announced the first event voyage on Queen Anne with a special British Isles Festival to coincide with her maiden voyage around the British Isles.

This unique sailing offers travelers the opportunity to take their place in history as the beginning of a new chapter for Cunard sets sail. Queen Anne will depart Southampton on May 24, 2024, for her maiden sailing around Great Britain and Ireland in a truly historic and one-of-a-kind British Isles circumnavigation.

The 14-night roundtrip voyage will showcase the very best of Britain's shores, taking in Cunard's spiritual home of Liverpool and bustling Belfast, majestic Highland cliffs, and the spectacular Scottish coast.

On board, guests can meet preeminent performers during an exclusive program of dazzling British and Irish entertainment or enjoy 'In conversation with' Insights talks with expert guest speakers, celebrating the rich heritage and natural wonders of the British Isles.

Katie McAlister, President of Cunard, said: "Christmas has come early for travelers looking to celebrate the arrival of Queen Anne as we announce her British Isles Festival voyage, which will be a real celebration of our newest ship and showcase the very best of Great Britain and Ireland. Queen Anne's maiden voyage around these shores will be a truly historic sailing and I know many of our loyal Cunarders will be eagerly awaiting what will be an iconic journey."

Queen Anne

Whatever your dream destination, discover it with Queen Anne. As the newest addition to the Cunard fleet, her design concepts have been founded on heritage, craftsmanship, style, storytelling, and innovation, and the 113,000-ton, 3,000-guest ship, which spans 14 decks, will offer travelers several breath-taking experiences, and more choices of entertainment, dining, and bars than ever before.

She will also boast the widest selection of fitness, beauty, thermal, and spa facilities so far seen on a Cunard ship, with her reimagined Mareel Wellness & Beauty proposition heralding a new era of wellbeing at sea.

Throughout her maiden season, Queen Anne will sail from Southampton on itineraries to the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, the Canary Islands, and the Norwegian Fjords, visiting more than 60 unique destinations in 16 countries – taking in several of Europe's most enchanting ancient cities.

She will sail on May 3, 2024, for her seven-night maiden voyage to La Coruna and Lisbon.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 16.35 + 11.83%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 114.21 + 7.31%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 17.50 + 21.07%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What Holland America ship was nicknamed "Funneldam"?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Just before the Imperator entered service in 1913, something was added to her design to ensure that she would be the longest liner in the world. What was added?

Answer - A large bronze eagle was added to make her longer than the Aquitania, the wings were later torn off the eagle during a storm while crossing the Atlantic courtesy of liberte50 @ t-online.de


Cruise News - November 27, 2023

Norwegian Cruise Line Christens All-new Norwegian Viva
Norwegian Cruise Line today celebrated the christening of Norwegian Viva, the Company’s highly anticipated newest vessel and the second ship in the award-winning Prima Class.

“To christen Norwegian Viva in Miami is incredibly special to many of us at NCL, not only because Miami is our hometown, but also because we can share this moment with our local family and friends,” said David J. Herrera, president of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Launching a ship is no solo endeavor. I am overwhelmed with gratitude towards the entire NCL team, our partners and especially our amazing crew who have contributed to bringing Norwegian Viva to life and who care for and deliver exceptional vacation experiences for our guests.”

Following Norwegian Viva’s debut this past August and its inaugural summer season of European voyages, today, over 1,500 guests joined the christening ceremony held in the Company’s LEED Gold Certified terminal at PortMiami. The Prima Class is committed to breaking new ground in ship design and amenities, reflecting Norwegian Cruise Line’s unwavering dedication to putting the guest and onboard experience at the forefront.

“As a Company, it has been a milestone year with the debut of next-generation ships across all three of our best-in-class cruise brands, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises,” said Harry Sommer, president & chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “The addition of Norwegian Viva further elevates our world-class fleet, providing our valued guests with another incredible way to vacation, discover new experiences and create unforgettable memories. Since she launched in August, Norwegian Viva’s initial guest satisfaction scores have outshined any newbuild in the history of the NCL fleet, a testament to not only how stunning this ship is, but also the exceptional level of service and attention provided by our amazing crew on board.”

Icon of the Seas Officially Joins Royal Caribbean
It's official: After more than seven years of dreaming and 900 days of design and construction by thousands of experts, yesterday, Royal Caribbean International welcomes the highly anticipated Icon of the Seas to the family in a momentous celebration at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland. The world's largest cruise line hosted a ceremony on the first-of-its-kind combination of the best of every vacation, where representatives signed on the dotted line just two months before the new ship's January 2024 debut in Miami.

Marking the milestone at the celebration were more than 1,200 crew members and workers, who were joined by Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO Jason Liberty, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley and Meyer Turku CEO Tim Meyer.

"Today, we are celebrating more than a new ship; it's also the celebration of the culmination of more than 50 years of innovation and dreaming at Royal Caribbean to create the ultimate vacation experience," said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. "Delivering Icon of the Seas represents all that can be accomplished with strong partnerships and a commitment to delivering memorable vacations responsibly, and we thank Meyer Turku and an incredible village of skilled partners for joining us on this journey. The memories millions of families and vacationers will make on Icon will be our greatest accomplishment yet."

The transfer of ownership, commonly known as the delivery of a new ship, between Royal Caribbean and Meyer Turku also commemorated the series of never-before-seen feats accomplished during more than two years of construction: from the installation of the AquaDome, the single largest glass and steel structure to be lifted onto a cruise ship, to engineering more water on board than ever before across seven pools, six record-breaking waterslides and more. Now is when Icon will sail from Turku to Cadiz, Spain, where the cruise line will start to put the finishing touches on the world's best vacation before it heads to Miami. Starting Wednesday, Nov. 29, adventurers can follow Icon's journey by visiting Royal Caribbean's website.

"Welcoming Icon of the Seas to the Royal Caribbean family is a remarkable accomplishment years in the making for thousands of innovators, engineers, architects and designers," said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Seven years ago, we had an ambitious idea to create the first vacation truly made for every type of family and adventurer; now, it's in our hands, and in this final stretch, we'll bring it all to life for the biggest debut in our history in January 2024."

Whether "family vacation" means getting away as a family, couple or friends, Icon's all-encompassing lineup features firsts and next-level favorites for everyone to make memories their way every day across eight neighborhoods. There are adrenaline-pumping thrills, unrivaled ways to chill, more than 40 ways to dine and drink, cutting-edge entertainment across the cruise line's four signature stages – air, ice, water and theater – and more. And with 28 different ways to stay, including the new three-level Ultimate Family Townhouse, even the rooms are thoughtfully designed for every type of vacationer.

The five brand-new neighborhoods and three reimagined favorites are destinations in themselves filled with a variety of experiences, live entertainment, restaurants and bars, including:

• Thrill Island – The new center of thrill features Category 6, the largest waterpark at sea, with six record-breaking slides; Crown's Edge, part skywalk, part ropes course and part thrill ride on which adventurers swing 154 feet above the ocean; the FlowRider simulator; the Lost Dunes minigolf course and more. In between adrenaline rushes, just steps away are new spots to grab laidback bites or sweet treats: Basecamp and Desserted for over-the-top milkshakes.

• Chill Island – Four of the seven pools on Icon are at this three-deck slice of paradise, each with a unique vibe and prime ocean views: the lively Swim & Tonic, the cruise line's first swimup bar at sea; Royal Bay, the largest pool at sea; Cloud 17, an adults-only retreat; and the serene, infinity-edge Cove Pool. With different tunes from live bands and DJs, and poolside spots for drinks and quick, casual food – like The Lime & Coconut and its new frozen cocktail bar, and El Loco Fresh & Cantina Fresca – vacationers can chill day and night.

• Surfside – Introducing the first neighborhood made for young families. Adults and kids can stay and play all day between ways to splash, like at the new Water's Edge pool for grownups nearby Baby Bay and the Splashaway Bay aquapark for kids, and new, dedicated dining options such as the Surfside Eatery buffet, Pier 7 for all-day brunch and the convenient Surfside Bites window. To chase down the bites, there's The Lemon Post, a brand-new bar that features two menus – one for adults and the other for kids.

• AquaDome – A tranquil oasis by day and vibrant hot spot at night, the new neighborhood is filled with wraparound ocean views, new and returning restaurants and bars, a 55-foot-tall water curtain, and the next-level AquaTheater that debuts the first cast of robots, skateboarders, divers and more. From Royal Caribbean's first foodhall, AquaDome Market, and Rye & Bean – a new bar for lattes and coffee-infused cocktails – to the new Overlook bar and pods, and the cruise line's marquee aqua shows, it's a transformational experience.

• The Hideaway – Tucked away and sitting 135 feet above the ocean is a new neighborhood that combines the good vibes of beach club scenes around the world. The first suspended infinity pool at sea is at the center of it all, and it has 180-degree ocean views that make it the perfect place to watch sunsets from the point of view only a cruise can offer as vacationers enjoy the dedicated DJ and bar.

• Royal Promenade – The heartbeat of Icon features more than 15 restaurants, bars and lounges, including Dueling Pianos, Royal Caribbean's first dueling pianos bar; the new 1400 Lobby Bar, inspired by the history of shipbuilding, with an ocean-facing terrace that opens the reimagined neighborhood to the outdoors for the first time; and favorites with a twist like Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, Starbucks and more. The all-time favorite also debuts floor-to-ceiling ocean views, an engineering feat made possible by The Pearl, the world's largest kinetic art sculpture.

• Central Park – Lusher and livelier than ever, the open-air neighborhood is reimagined with more ways to dine, drink and be entertained. Thousands of real plants line new experiences and favorites with a twist, such as the popular Izumi, with a new location and a walkup window; and American steakhouse Chops Grille. Making their debut are spots like Empire Supper Club, an extravagant experience that pairs eight courses with wine, cocktails and music; and Lou's Jazz 'n Blues, for live performances of soulful jazz, jazzy pop music and more.

• Suite Neighborhood – Spanning four decks, Royal Caribbean's most expansive Suite Neighborhood features larger suites, the new Grove Suite Sun Deck, complete with a private pool, whirlpool and dedicated Mediterranean dining; and a now two-level Coastal Kitchen with views of the AquaDome and the ocean.

Icon is also the cruise line's first ship that can be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), a transitional fuel. The dual-fuel engines will work alongside a lineup of energy efficiency initiatives and industry-leading environmental programs on board, like the first waste-to-energy plant at sea. Twenty-four percent more energy efficient than the standards required for ships being designed today, the cruise line's most sustainable ship yet will mark the next step in parent company Royal Caribbean Group's journey to introduce a net-zero cruise ship by 2035.

Princess Goes "All-In" With Its Largest Casino Ever
The largest casino ever built by Princess Cruises is readying to deal a full house of luck on the next-generation, 4,300-guest Sun Princess. The Princess Casino – with an astounding 50% more space and 30% more machines than the line's Royal Class ships – is preparing for guests to hit the jackpot when its newest and most magnificent cruise ship ever, Sun Princess, sets sail in February 2024.

Located on deck 8 adjacent to the bustling Piazza, the Princess Casino offers high ceilings and a spacious floorplan for world-class gaming comfort and entertainment. There will even be several gaming positions infused into in the Piazza, giving guests even easier and faster access to their favorite betting games.

With over 200 of the newest and most popular slots and video poker games, the Princess Casino will feature live table games offering progressive jackpots, as well as a variety of other games Princess players have come to enjoy. Included in the expanded casino will be a first-of-its-kind "Buffalo Zone" at sea – bringing these popular games by Aristocrat to the newest "Love Boat."

"Casino lovers, high rollers or simply those wanting to try a hand during their vacation will be stunned by the new Princess Casino onboard Sun Princess," said John Padgett, President of Princess Cruises. "Princess has embraced the casino experience and is proud to offer such exciting gaming surrounded by absolutely world-class dining and entertainment."

Princess Casino Key Enhancements Onboard Sun Princess

• Nearly 9,000 square feet, featuring 10' ceilings, 227 slot machines and 13 live tables

• Newest and the most comfortable gaming seating available for both slot and table game players

• New linked blackjack and poker table progressives, offering high value cash top awards

• High-limit slot area, with high-end seating

• New gaming experiences and celebrations through an interactive audio-visual experience throughout the casino

Scheduled to debut in February 2024, Sun Princess is currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. The 175,500-ton, 4,300-guest Sun Princess will offer an array of exciting new entertainment and culinary offerings, as well as luxurious staterooms and suites across a broad spectrum of categories. With the most balconies and sun decks on any Princess ship, guests can take in the sunshine and crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean and Caribbean from the comfort of their stateroom.

Seabourn Makes History as Expedition Ships Meet for First Time in Antarctica
Seabourn celebrated a historical moment when Seabourn Pursuit and Seabourn Venture, the line's two new expedition ships, sailed together side by side for the first time on Wednesday. The sister ships met at the entrance to the picturesque Neko Harbor, surrounded by towering icescapes, to celebrate Seabourn Pursuit's maiden season in Antarctica. To commemorate the historic meeting, guests and team members gathered on the expansive bow of each ship, where caviar and champagne were served.

"It was a very exciting day, and we could not think of a better way to commemorate our first trip to Antarctica than meeting up with our sister ship, Seabourn Venture," said Stig Betten, captain of Seabourn Pursuit. "Many close friends and colleagues from each ship cheered and toasted to each other as we embarked on our expeditions to Antarctica, marking a new era in ultra-luxury expeditions."

"It was an incredible 'Seabourn Moment' for our Seabourn Venture guests and crew as we welcomed Seabourn Pursuit to Antarctica for her first season," said Jeroen Schuchmann, captain of Seabourn Venture. "Seeing our two ships sail side by side at the start of our Antarctica season solidifies the fact that we at Seabourn are able to introduce so many more individuals to breathtaking, remote destinations that few will ever visit."

"It was amazing to wake up this morning and join our guests and team virtually at this historical moment for our Brand. We had a dream to bring Seabourn Signature Luxury to the world of exploration," said Natalya Leahy, president of Seabourn. "Watching our two-purpose built ultra-luxury expedition ships, Seabourn Venture and Seabourn Pursuit, next to each other today, and watching our guests raising champagne to each other with a breathtaking backdrop of Neko Harbor made me so proud. We truly brought this dream to life and redefined expedition experiences."

Seabourn Pursuit just embarked on its maiden season in Antarctica, while Seabourn Venture is beginning its second season on the icy continent. Both ships will operate 11- to 13-day voyages to Antarctica, as well as 21-day voyages to South Georgia, Falkland Islands, and Antarctica. These itineraries will offer included Zodiac outings to cruise among icebergs, observe penguin colonies up close, and join the ship's Expedition Team to walk and hike across untouched and seldom-seen landscapes. Optional kayaking and submarine excursions will also be available.

Launched in 2022 and 2023, respectively, both Seabourn Venture and Seabourn Pursuit offer the same luxurious small ship experience that travelers have come to expect from Seabourn, enhanced by world-class equipment that allows the line to offer its widest range of expedition activities led by an expert 24-person expedition team of elite, world-renowned scientists, scholars, naturalists, and more. Designed and built for remote, diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards, the ship includes a plethora of modern hardware and technology that extends the ship's global deployment and capabilities. There is close to 30,000 square feet of deck space and special touches at every turn, as well as indoor and outdoor guest areas with nearly 270-degree views. In addition, a 4K GSS Cineflex Camera is mounted on the mast of the Constellation Lounge and capable of broadcasting imagery from miles ahead on monitors located throughout the ship and in guest suites.

The ships are also equipped with enhanced Wi-Fi connectivity with SpaceX's Starlink, providing its expedition guests with faster service, greater connectivity, and more reliable Wi-Fi wherever Starlink's services are available.

Princess Countdown to Inaugural Season from Port Canaveral
Princess Cruises is gearing up for a momentous occasion one year from today as Caribbean Princess prepares to embark on its first-ever voyage from Port Canaveral, establishing a new homeport in the heart of Central Florida. These sailings promise the classic, premium Princess experience, catering to travelers of all ages, making them ideal for families and multi-generational adventures.

The ship will cast off on Nov. 27, 2024, embarking on its maiden journey from Port Canaveral to Turks & Caicos, offering a delightful four-day Thanksgiving getaway cruise, as Princess Cruises brings the magic of "The Love Boat" to this convenient new departure point.

On sale now, the November 2024 through April 2025 season features 20 cruise departures to the Eastern and Western Caribbean, ranging in length from four to eight days, including:

• Thanksgiving four-day getaway voyage to Turks & Caicos (Nov. 27, 2024)

• Eastern Caribbean six-day cruises to Nassau, Grand Turk and either Amber Cove or San Juan (Dec. 9, 23, 2024; Jan. 6, 20, Feb. 3, 17, March 3, 17, 31, 2025)

• Eastern Caribbean eight-day cruises with St. Thomas, St. Maarten, San Juan and Grand Turk (Dec. 1, 29, 2024; Jan. 26, Feb. 23, March 23, 2025)

• Western Caribbean eight-day voyages to Cozumel, Costa Maya, Belize City and Roatan for Mahogany Bay (Dec. 15, 2024; Jan. 12, Feb. 9, March 9, April 6, 2025)

Cruisers may opt to combine any six- or eight-day itineraries for a longer 14-day vacation.

"With Port Canaveral being introduced as new home port for us in just one year, our presence in North America expands and provides another major drive market with convenient access, as well as a multitude of flight options in and out of Orlando," said Terry Thornton, chief commercial officer for Princess Cruises. "Plus, we hope many of our guests from Port Canaveral will experience Princess for the first time and discover why our cruise line is so unique, from the Princess MedallionClass experience which offers unparalleled service and personalization, to world-class dining, casual eateries, Broadway-inspired entertainment and incredible family offerings."

Caribbean Princess also offers a wide variety of staterooms that accommodate up to four guests and interconnecting staterooms for families, a Youth and Teen Center for ages 3-17, an outdoor Movies Under the Stars screen to enjoy films, live sports games and more, plus quieter spaces like The Sanctuary for adult guests to relax with the ocean breeze.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.62 + 0.34%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 106.43 + 0.59%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 14.38 - 1.64%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Just before the Imperator entered service in 1913, something was added to her design to ensure that she would be the longest liner in the world. What was added?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which two 1930's ocean liners had seaplanes mounted between their funnels for the purpose of delivering the mail via air thirty-six hours before the ships docked?

Answer - These were the German NDL liners BREMEN and EUROPA. BREMEN burned in WWII and became a total loss, while EUROPA had an illustrious second career as the French LIBERTE.

The Germans also had two dedicated seaplane tenders to service these seaplanes. Those vessels were FRIESENLAND and SCHWABENLAND. While SCHWABENLAND was a conversion from a freighter, FRIESENLAND was custom-built and had a very interesting post-war career as SITMAR's passenger-cargo liner CASTEL NEVOSO. In fact she was a reefer-passenger liner! From 1952 to 1968, she sailed with bananas (and some passengers) between Italy and the former Italian colony of Somaliland (present-day Somalia). She was finally broken up at Faslane in 1969, after 32 years of service. courtesy of Ralph Dazert


Cruise News - November 20, 2023

Carnival Jubilee Successfully Completes Sea Trials
Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Carnival Jubilee, has successfully completed its first full round of sea trials. Now, she’s one more milestone closer to her monumental debut in Galveston, Tex. on Dec. 23.

Carnival Jubilee’s sea trials successfully completed on Nov. 14. The trials were led by a full contingent of officers, technicians and engineers on board who thoroughly tested the ship’s technical, mechanical and navigational systems.

“Our all-new Carnival Jubilee performed extremely well through each test we put her through this past week. Now shortly, we’ll start cruising and our team is prepared to welcome our guests from Galveston onto this beautiful new ship,” Captain Andrea Catalani said.

Carnival Jubilee is the first Carnival ship to be built in Germany. She will officially join the fleet when she is delivered to Carnival by shipbuilder Meyer Werft in Papenburg on Dec. 4. The ship proudly displays a Texas star on the bow of the ship to pay tribute to Jubilee’s homeport of Galveston. The ship will feature unique concepts in sea-themed zones that will delight guests with delicious food and beverage options, such as the Dr.Inks, Ph.D Bar. Technology and other design elements will transport guests from a sunny pier-like “boardwalk” to an adventurous ocean-floor promenade.

The cruise line’s third ship to be powered by a Liquefied Natural Gas propulsion system, Carnival Jubilee also features other stunning innovations – including top-deck rollercoaster BOLT: The Ultimate Seacoaster, and guest-favorites like Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse, and Shaquille O’Neal’s Big Chicken restaurant.

Carnival Jubilee will sail year-round to popular Caribbean destinations, including Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, as well as Mahogany Bay (Roatan).

Oceania Cruises' Marina to Undergo Extensive Refurbishment in May 2024
Oceania Cruises announced this week that its 1,250-passenger ship, Marina, will undergo an all-encompassing refurbishment in May 2024. The refurbishment will include the addition three new dining options: Aquamar Kitchen, the new wellness-focused dining venue which debuted on Vista this year; an expanded poolside ice cream parlor serving milkshakes and smoothies, plus inventive flavors from artisan ice cream company Humphry Slocombe; and a new casual al fresco trattoria offering sumptuous Italian dishes, including freshly-made pizzas.

Marina is the last of Oceania Cruises' current fleet to be refurbished and means that the line boasts eight new, or better-than-new, ships. Its eighth ship, Allura, is set to launch in Spring 2025.

"Marina is a ship designed by foodies, built by foodies, for foodies," said Frank A. Del Rio, President of Oceania Cruises. "We are renowned for serving The Finest Cuisine at Sea, and this is not just a tagline, it is a mantra which we have built the business around. Food is the foundation of what we do onboard each of our ships, and globally, in the destinations we visit.

"This refresh of Marina will see her updated to offer three exciting new dining venues. We are especially thrilled to expand the Aquamar Kitchen concept to Marina, following its incredible reception from guests since it was unveiled aboard Vista in May."

Marina and her sister Riviera were the very first true foodie ships in the world and are now joined by Vista and Allura. Marina and Riviera were the first ships ever to have an onboard cooking school and have more galley space and more fresh food storage than any other ship. Oceania Cruises has the highest percentage of culinary personnel devoted to the dining experience than any other cruise company. To ensure the impeccable quality of each dish, the line has one chef for every ten guests; half of the crew onboard is dedicated to the cooking or serving of food.

One of the exciting culinary additions to Marina will be Aquamar Kitchen, a new Oceania Cruises signature restaurant which presents wellness-inspired menus, with a hint of indulgence, sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate. At breakfast, the smoothies, cold-pressed juices and energy bowls shine, while at lunch the avocado toast selections and globally inspired salads and wraps are incredibly flavorful and satisfying. Heartier options include an Impossible burger, yellowfin tuna tacos and a crunchy chicken sandwich among several others.

To reflect the wellness-inspired dishes, the beverage menu will feature a selection of premium, award-winning non-alcoholic wines, Pierre Zero from France as well as a refreshing collection of mocktails crafted with Lyre's non-alcoholic spirits. Aquamar Kitchen will be open for breakfast and lunch and does not require reservations, and as with all other onboard restaurants, is complimentary for guests.

In the evening, Waves Grill will transform into an al fresco trattoria featuring freshly made pizzas, succulently grilled Italian specialties, spicy dry-rubbed chicken wings, tantalizing salads, rosemary focaccia with lush burrata and indulgent desserts.

For guests with a sweet tooth, an all-day ice cream parlor will be added to the pool deck. Filled with favorite flavors, including options from Humphry Slocombe, plus milkshakes and smoothies, it is sure to entice guests for an afternoon poolside treat.

With the addition of Aquamar Kitchen, Oceania Cruises' signature pairing dinners featured in La Reserve will be showcased in Privée, Marina's exclusive private dining space. This intimate venue will host culinary aficionados for long-standing favorite pairing menus of La Reserve, including the Odyssey Menu and the Dom Pérignon Experience.

In addition to the three new dining options, Marina's private and public spaces will be refreshed to showcase a radiant new ambiance. All upper suites will be reimagined with a revamped look, to become lighter, brighter and seemingly even more spacious thanks to cleverly designed new features. Classic steakhouse Polo Grill will also be enhanced with new carpet, stylish window treatments and a fresh design of the dining chairs.

The Penthouse Suites will be completely refurbished with custom-crafted furniture as well as new closets and cabinetry to increase guest storage space, plus new carpets and upholstery, updated modern lighting and thoughtful details such as more outlets and USB ports. Each Penthouse Suite will have a sleek restyled bathroom, with distinctive Italian marble throughout, abundant drawer space, and generous over-sized showers, offering the elegant residential luxury for which Oceania Cruises is renowned.

Favorite public spaces including Martinis, Horizons, The Grand Dining Room and Library will be elegantly updated with plush new carpets and refreshed upholstery, reflecting a renewed sense of grandeur while maintaining the home-away-from-home ambiance.

The refurbished ship will debut on May 18, 2024, and while the ship will undergo significant cosmetic changes, rest assured that one aspect will remain constant and unchanged: Oceania Cruises' trademark warm and personalized service. Whether guests are sailing for the first time or the fifteenth, they will note the ease with which the staff remembers their names and their preferences along with the genuine smiles and enthusiasm that can only come from the heart.

Seabourn Announces 2026 World Cruise
Seabourn announced this week its "2026 World Cruise – Ring of Fire: Hidden Gems." The 129-day voyage on Seabourn Sojourn will visit 63 extraordinary destinations and ports in 14 countries and offer many new value-added amenities and benefits to elevate the guest experience. The 2026 World Cruise is now open for sale, and the entire itinerary is available on Seabourn's website.

Departing Los Angeles on January 6, 2026, the award-winning, ultra-luxury Seabourn Sojourn will travel approximately 28,000 nautical miles, crossing the International Dateline and Equator not once, but twice. The voyage will explore the lush volcanic islands and atolls of the South Pacific, circumnavigate the wild coasts of Australia, and weave through the beguiling islands of Japan at the cusp of spring flowers season before crossing the North Pacific to Glacier Bay National Park to usher in the Alaskan summer. The sailing will feature five maiden calls and a combination of popular marquee ports, cosmopolitan cities and smaller hidden gems. Guests will enjoy seven overnights and linger late into the evening in seven ports, offering guests ample opportunities to explore these fascinating destinations in depth.

"Our 2026 World Cruise is a masterful mosaic of moments, designed for guests to uncover the hidden gems of the Ring of Fire while enjoying the comfort of Seabourn's signature, ultra-luxury services. Whether they choose to sail the full journey or on one of our shorter segments, our guests will discover a world of hidden gems that very few individuals have ever experienced," said Natalya Leahy, president of Seabourn. "In addition to offering an unforgettable itinerary, we also worked very hard to provide a number of new amenities to deliver an unparalleled and best ever value for our guests. We invite our extraordinary guests to join us on this voyage that will transcend the boundaries of ultra-luxury travel and provide numerous out of the ordinary experiences."

The 2026 World Cruise includes a meticulously curated, value-packed menu of complimentary benefits and amenities for guests who book the full 129-day World Cruise. These include several new offerings such as private dining experiences and tasting menus, premium internet packages with Starlink technology, medical services package, an extended two-night pre-cruise hotel stay, and a 30 percent increase in shipboard credit of up to USD$10,000 per suite.

In addition, the company invested in providing elevated, exclusive World Cruise Events to deliver unique and unforgettable experiences at select destinations. Available only for guests who book the full World Cruise. These include a Gala Bon Voyage Dinner in Los Angeles the night prior to embarkation, hosted by the Seabourn President; a Private Maori Welcome and performance in Maori Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand; an exclusive dinner with regional cuisine, wines and local entertainment at Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens; and an elegant dinner of traditional and modern Japanese dishes and beverages including wines and sakes in Kanazawa. Local shows, regional cuisines, and palate-pleasing wines will be available for all guests to enjoy as they sail around the globe.

A sampling of destination highlights during the "Ring of Fire" World Cruise includes:

Pearls of the South Pacific: Los Angeles to Sydney: Guests will savor a picture-perfect start as they cruise through the stunning volcanic landscapes of Hawaii and French Polynesia, before diving deep into a trove of eight New Zealand ports. Guests will enjoy extended stays in Honolulu, Bora Bora, and Tahiti (Papeete), and an overnight in Auckland, New Zealand, as well as visiting Fiordland National Park, where lush, emerald forests meet pristine fjords. During this segment, the ship will cross two significant milestones – the International Date Line and the Equator. Featured destinations include:

• Suva, Vitu Levu, Fiji: The vibrant heart of Viti Levu's southeastern coast beckons with its tropical allure. A featured shore excursion, "The Jewel of Fiji", lets guests Experience an exhilarating longboat cruise past Fiji's lush tropical rain forest and up a gorge to see cascading waterfalls.

• Mystery Island, Vanuatu– maiden call for Seabourn Sojourn: Situated at the southern tip of the Vanuatu archipelago, Mystery Island beckons with its pristine allure. An optional shore excursion allows guests to snorkel in the crystal-clear waters to see the ecosystem of an undisturbed coral reef.

Coral Coast: Circumnavigation & Sapphire Seas: The voyage will explore the rugged beauty of Australia's host of hidden gems. During this carefully crafted circumnavigation of Australia, guests will have the privilege of exploring 14 distinct Australian ports, all while indulging in overnight stays in Sydney and Melbourne and extended stays in Hobart, Broome, Lombok and Bali before cruising the Kimberley Coast, a world teeming with untouched wilderness and marine life.

• Robe, South Australia – maiden call for Seabourn: Picture perfect amongst the magnificent blues and greens of South Australia's Limestone Coast, this coastal village boasts an abundant tapestry of historic buildings, pristine coastal national parks, eclectic shopping, and bustling food scenes.

• Broome, Western Australia: The gateway to the Kimberley, Broome's history, natural wonders and timeless charm make it a must-visit destination for those seeking history, adventure, and the serenity of Australia's northwest coast. A featured shore excursion includes a sunset Camel ride at Cable Beach.

Isle of Jade and Beyond: Hong Kong to Tokyo (Yokohama): From overnights in the bustling streets of Hong Kong, Busan, and Tokyo, to the tranquil beauty of hidden Japanese ports like Ishigaki, Miyako, and Aomori, each destination tells an exciting new tale, offering nuanced glimpses of their culture, cuisine, and crafts. The mesmerizing circumnavigation of Japan features scenic cruises of the historic Japan Inland Sea and Kanmon Strait.

• Hualien, Taiwan: Often known as the gateway to the breathtaking Taroko Gorge, Hualien's glistening lakes, pristine beaches, epic hiking trails, picturesque rice terraces, and vibrant night markets have a presence all their own. A featured shore excursion welcomes guests to experience the Taroko Gorge, the world's deepest marble canyon.

• Akita and Miyako, Japan – maiden calls for Seabourn: For the first time in Seabourn history, Seabourn Sojourn will travel to the hot springs and samurai districts of Akita and Miyako. Sheltered along the enchanting Sea of Japan coast, Akita boasts a captivating blend of modern and old, with a cityscape that showcases an intriguing contrast of architectural styles. Japan's main island, Miyako, Iwate, is situated along the Pacific coast surrounded by stunning scenery of Sanriku Fukko National Park and a sandy coastline defined by dramatic rock formations carved by the pounding surf.

Golden Gardens & Glaciers: Tokyo (Yokohama) to Vancouver: After an overnight in Tokyo, guests will set sail on a golden transpacific voyage that transports them from the gleaming energy of Golden Week, a period of festivals and family time, through the majestic waters of the Pacific, to the budding seasonal energy of Alaska's Last Frontier. As the sun sets on the journey across the Ring of Fire, smaller ports and lesser sailed waterways reveal life expanding moments, set against the backdrop of rugged volcanic terrain, indigenous history, and seaside gems.

• Kushiro, Japan: A highlight of eastern Hokkaido for many birders because of the possibilities to encounter the red crested or tancho crane. A featured shore excursion welcomes guests to experience Kushiro Shitsugen, Japan's largest marshland to discover more than 2,000 varieties of animals and plants.

• Sitka, Alaska: Sitka is the only Inside Passage community that fronts the Pacific Ocean, hugging Baranof Island's west shore in the shadow of the impressive Mount Edgecumbe.

Royal Caribbean Unveils 2025 European Adventures
Summers in Europe will make for six times the memories as Royal Caribbean International rolls out a new lineup of European vacations for 2025. Families and friends can set their sights on adventure with six action-packed ships sailing from five popular destinations, including Allure of the Seas in Barcelona, Spain, for the first time since 2015 and fan favorites Odyssey, Independence, Explorer, Voyager and Brilliance of the Seas. Ranging from two to 12 nights and featuring bucket-list locales such as Greece, Croatia, Italy, Portugal, Spain and France, the new summer 2025 European vacations open for bookings on Royal Caribbean’s website today for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members – ahead of the official opening on Thursday, Nov. 9.

Whether starting from Athens (Piraeus), Greece; Barcelona; Ravenna and Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; or Southampton, England, with Royal Caribbean, vacationers have a summer of possibilities and memories in store. The adventure-packed lineup spans the picturesque coasts and cities in the Mediterranean, including Mykonos, Rhodes and Santorini, Greece; Florence (La Spezia), Italy; and Nice (Villefranche), France, and the awe-inspiring landscapes of Dubrovnik, Croatia; Madeira, Portugal; and the Norwegian fjords. Between short getaways and longer adventures, there are ways to explore and discover Europe for everyone.

The memory making extends to the cruise line’s six ships across a signature lineup of thrills and ways to chill. Highlights include Allure’s 30-plus ways to dine and drink in seven neighborhoods, twin FlowRider surf simulators and entertainment across air, ice, water and theater; along with Odyssey’s RipCord by iFly skydiving experience, North Star – the all-glass observation capsule that goes as high as 300 feet above the ocean – and flavors that range from sushi to Italian. And it’s adventures like The Perfect Storm waterslides, mini golf and more that make Independence and Voyager favorites, among more highlights on Explorer and Brilliance.

Europe Summer 2025 Highlights

Allure of the Seas – From Barcelona & Rome (Civitavecchia)
For seven nights, vacationers will visit idyllic destinations in Spain, France and Italy, like Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Florence (La Spezia) and Naples, Italy; and Provence (Marseille), France. Landmarks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the vibrant culture in Mallorca and the famed Neapolitan pizza in Naples await, and in between the adventures on land are those on board. With the return of Allure, the unmatched lineup of game-changing Oasis Class experiences across signature neighborhoods is back. The highlights range from twin rock climbing walls and FlowRider surf simulators to a nine-story-high zip line, restaurants that serve up sushi, hibachi, Italian dishes and American steakhouse classics; theatrical hit – “Mamma Mia!” – and original shows that span air, ice, water and theater.

Odyssey of the Seas – From Rome (Civitavecchia)
The 7- to 12-night adventures are set to visit destinations like Naples; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Limassol, Cyprus; and Crete, Mykonos, Rhodes and Santorini, Greece. Breathtaking sights are in store, from the iconic white buildings of Santorini to UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Pompeii, Italy, and Odyssey will be the first of its kind to overnight in Istanbul, as part of a unique 10-night vacation. The thrills continue on board with a combination of experiences for all ages, including a vibrant resort-style pool deck; North Star, the highest viewing deck on a cruise ship; skydiving at RipCord by iFly; SeaPlex, the largest indoor and outdoor activity complex at sea, with bumper cars, laser tag, an arcade and more; and 20-plus restaurants, bars and lounges like Teppanyaki, imaginative cuisine at Wonderland, and tropical vibes poolside at The Lime & Coconut bar.

Independence of the Seas – From Southampton
The U.K.’s favorite getaway is back in town after six years, with a series of 2- to 12-night vacations. From short escapes to the culture-rich city of Bruges (Zeebrugge), Belgium, to seven nights exploring the Norwegian fjords or Spain, Portugal, France and more, the adventures vacationers can choose from run the gamut. Destination highlights include Copenhagen, Denmark; the Canary Islands and Bilbao, Spain; Lisbon and the Azores Islands, Portugal; Paris (Le Havre), and Oslo and Haugesund, Norway. Between the iconic landscapes, landmarks, history and cultures, travelers can enjoy the lineup of amplified experiences on board, including The Perfect Storm racing waterslides, glow-in-the-dark laser tag, the Escape Room: The Observatorium and poolside eatery Fish & Ships; and favorites across dining, entertainment and nightlife

Voyager of the Seas – From Athens (Piraeus), Barcelona, Ravenna & Rome (Civitavecchia)
On 7-night vacations to the Eastern and Western Mediterranean, adventurers can visit destinations such as Provence (Marseille), France; Sicily and Sardinia, Italy; and Valencia, Spain; and overnights in the vibrant locales of Istanbul and Santorini. Memory making at the popular Marinieres Beach in Nice (Villefranche) and while enjoying gelato in the old town of Dubrovnik are matched by the lineup of amplified adventures on board. Everything is on deck, from The Perfect Storm racing waterslides to glow-in-the-dark laser tag, to ice skating, dedicated kids and teens spaces, a Vitality Spa & Fitness Center, and restaurants like Giovanni’s Table, Izumi and Chops Grille.

Explorer of the Seas – From Ravenna
Travelers can set their sights on the Aegean and Adriatic seas on three different 7-night vacations that visit a mix of the idyllic beaches, forest-clad mountains and crystal-clear waters across destinations like Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia; Athens (Piraeus) and Argostoli, Greece; and Kotor, Montenegro. From one locale to the next, vacationers can go all in on thrill or kick back on board at the rock climbing wall, ice-skating rink, dedicated spaces for kids and teens, the adults-only Solarium pool and more. And when it comes to bites, the flavors range from prime cuts at American steakhouse Chops Grille, to sushi and sashimi at Izumi and family-style Italian classics at Giovanni’s Table.

Brilliance of the Seas – From Athens (Piraeus)
Adventurers have their choice of two sets of 7-night adventures to Cyprus, Greece, the Greek isles and Turkey. They can immerse themselves in ancient history at the likes of the 15th-century castle in Bodrum, Turkey, taste local delicacies at Limassol Marina in Limassol, sip cocktails while overlooking the iconic blue domes of Mykonos and more – even enjoy overnights in Istanbul. On board, travelers can take in breathtaking views through 3 acres of glass and make memories across a variety of dining, entertainment, nightlife and more, including the signature rock climbing wall, mini golf, the Vintages wine bar, Giovanni’s Table, Izumi and the multicourse Chef’s Table.

Carnival Jubilee to Offer Fleet’s First 5G Coverage
Carnival Cruise Line announced today it will introduce further industry-leading innovation aboard the upcoming Carnival Jubilee: 5G mobile connectivity. Carnival Jubilee will be the first Carnival vessel, and the first cruise ship in North America, to provide guests access to 5G mobile phone service through a partnership with leading cellular provider Wireless Maritime Service (WMS).

“Carnival Jubilee will be the fleet’s most-connected ship – literally raising the connectivity bar for our guests and serving as another big step in a period of vigorous advancement of our onboard connectivity,” said Luis Terife, vice president of onboard guest commerce at Carnival Cruise Line. “The ongoing enhancements we’re rolling out on all of our ships, such as SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service, make it significantly easier for guests to share the memorable experiences of their cruise with friends and family.”

Carnival Jubilee will launch in December as 5G-enabled and the service will be available early in 2024. Guests can utilize the enhanced connectivity through service plans for cruise ships provided by their wireless carriers. After the initial launch on Carnival Jubilee, the cruise line plans to enable other ships across its fleet with 5G capabilities.

To meet the growing demand for connectivity at sea, Carnival has also rolled out fleetwide enhancements to its Wi-Fi offerings. The cruise line recently completed upgrades on all of its 25 ships to install necessary infrastructure for the use of SpaceX’s Starlink Satellite service. In addition, Carnival has partnerships with other internet vendors to equip ships with multi-provider functionality, ensuring guests always enjoy access to the most robust and dependable service available while on board.

“We’ve received very positive feedback from our guests who are enjoying the more reliable Wi-Fi across the fleet as we continue to increase our capacity through Starlink and other service providers,” said John Harshaw, vice president of global infrastructure at Carnival Cruise Line. “Our multi-provider, multi-orbit strategy minimizes single-provider supply chain constraints and improves overall connectivity in support of our operations and the enhanced experience for our guests and team members.”

Carnival Jubilee will debut in Galveston on Dec. 23 and sail week-long Western Caribbean itineraries that visit popular destinations such as Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, as well as Mahogany Bay (Roatan), Honduras.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.57 + 3.19%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 105.81 + 2.03%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 14.62 + 1.67%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which two 1930's ocean liners had seaplanes mounted between their funnels for the purpose of delivering the mail via air thirty-six hours before the ships docked?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which two 1930's ocean liners had seaplanes mounted between their funnels for the purpose of delivering the mail via air thirty-six hours before the ships docked?

Answer - The first major liner to use this system of stabilizers was Italy's beautiful Conte di Savoia of 1932. She was running mate to the Blue Riband winner Rex. courtesy of David Wallace, Los Angeles, CA.


Cruise News - November 13, 2023

Atlas Ocean Voyages World Voyager Christened and Joins Fleet
Atlas Ocean Voyages, the leader in yacht expedition cruising, celebrates World Voyager officially joining the fleet, following a naming ceremony in Ushuaia, Argentina. The 198-guest expedition yacht was christened by Godmother British physiotherapist and British Army Captain Harpreet "Preet" Kaur Chandi MBE. Naming ceremony attendees included shareholders, maiden voyage guests, travel advisors, media, and local dignitaries. The third vessel in the line's expedition fleet, the sister ship to Atlas Ocean Voyages' World Traveller and World Navigator, will now begin her inaugural deployment for the 2023/24 Antarctica season.

"Today marks another important milestone for Atlas Ocean Voyages as our fleet grows to a trio, delivering year-round polar, epicurean and cultural expedition experiences across the globe," said Rodriguez. "Thank you to Preet for inspiring all of us and the entire Atlas team that continues to execute our vision of year-round expedition yachting."

The shipboard ceremony was presided over by Atlas Ocean Voyages President and CEO James A. Rodriguez, who introduced World Voyager's officers and crew, including Captain Terje Ulset, recognized local Argentine dignitaries, including Vice Governor Mónica Urquiza, and also thanked Father Luis Ascano for being a part of the moving milestone for the expedition cruise line. The ceremony concluded with Godmother Harpreet "Preet" Chandi MBE breaking a bottle of Champagne, raising a glass to lead a toast with Rodriguez as World Voyager embarked on her maiden voyage, a 9-day Antarctic Discovery expedition.

"I'm so excited for you as you begin your first Antarctic Expedition," shared World Voyager Godmother Harpreet "Preet" Chandi. "My journey and now your experience is all about pushing boundaries and experiencing an adventure that will leave you changed."

World Voyager Godmother Preet Chandi gained international recognition in 2022 when she completed a remarkable solo expedition across Antarctica to the South Pole. In January 2023, she further solidified her place in polar exploration history by recording the longest-ever solo and unsupported polar expedition by a woman of color. Her outstanding achievements were acknowledged when she was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2022 Birthday Honors.

World Voyager joins Atlas' two other luxury yachts, World Traveller and World Navigator, in expeditions sailing to Antarctica on 9- to 14-night round trips from Ushuaia, Argentina. Atlas includes a pre-cruise hotel stay in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and roundtrip charter air service from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. Expeditions include a FREE Cultural Immersion tour, all Zodiac experiences, landings ashore, and all-inclusive amenities on board. Kayaking and camping activities are available as optional experiences.

World Voyager is among the most advanced and safest expedition yachts like her Atlas fleet mates. The Polar Category C- and Ice Class 1B-certified vessel features two Rolls Royce 9,000 kw hybrid diesel/electric engines and incorporates 3D forward-looking sonar (FLS) technology to detect underwater hazards, obstacles, and shallows. The state-of-the-art system enables the ship to navigate ice fields, harbors, and rivers for convenient access to city centers, exclusive yacht harbors, and rarely visited destinations.

World Voyager exudes elegance and sophistication reminiscent of the Scandinavian style. This Nordic chic design accentuates light ash wood tones and stylish contrasts of marble accents throughout accommodations and social spaces. Such attention to detail creates an open and airy atmosphere that invites explorers to unwind in a warm, comfortable atmosphere on board. Spacious suites and staterooms offer five-star comfort and convenience and feature traditional maritime design cues like rich wood veneers complemented by contemporary furnishings and classic artwork. The ship's main dining room has been named Madeira as an homage to the breathtaking natural settings, crystal-clear waters, and centuries-old traditions of the Portuguese archipelago. Similarly, the lecture hall where Expedition Team members host illustrated enrichment talks is named Amerigo Vespucci Auditorium after the famed explorer. In addition to her Atlas navy blue livery, she features the popular 7-Aft Grill, Atlas Lounge, the forward-facing observation Lounge, The Dome observation lounge, and guest favorite Paula's Pantry.

MSC Cruises Orders Two New Environmentally-advanced World Class Ships
MSC Cruises today confirmed the order of two liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered vessels with French ship builder Chantiers de l’Atlantique. This sees the two World Class options confirmed as firm orderswith an option for a fifth ship. The two new ordered vessels – currently referred to as World Class 3 and 4 - will be delivered in 2026 and 2027.

MSC World Europa and MSC World America are already the most energy efficient ships in the industry performing significantly better than the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) requirement, and the new ships will be an evolution of the state-of-the-art World Class prototype with innovative solutions to maximise the energy efficiency, with extensive use of heat recovery and other technological solutions, which will see the vessels having an even further reduced carbon footprint. In addition, the new ships will be ready for a variety of alternative fuels including bio and synthetic methane and green methanol. The ships will also be fitted with the next generation dual fuel internal combustion engines with reduced methane slip.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises, said, “We are proud to continue our 20-year partnership with the Chantiers de l’Atlantique, with whom we have already built 18 ships with our 19 under construction. The World Class is a truly innovative prototype and together we are building some of the most advanced ships in the world. We are committed to researching and investing in future environmental technologies as they become available, to ensure we continue progressing on our decarbonisation journey to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique added, “At a difficult time for the European shipbuilding industry, MSC Cruises has shown its confidence in our abilities and skills with this order. We would therefore like to express our gratitude to MSC Cruises for its renewed confidence at this crucial time. In addition, MSC Cruises, always seeking to reduce the environmental impact of its ships quickly and significantly, has accepted a significant cost premium to improve the energy efficiency of these new ships which, according to the IMO's EEDI index, will emit 50% less CO2 than the IMO's 2008 benchmark.”

Castaing continued, “We would also like to thank our government, whose support for our R&D policy to make our ships greener has enabled us to meet the customer's expectations for this order.”

The new World Class vessels will feature shore power plug-in connectivity to reduce carbon emissions in port, the most advanced wastewater treatment systems designed in line with the IMO, new advances in waste management, and a comprehensive range of onboard energy efficient equipment to optimise engine use and hotel energy needs to further reduce emissions.

Carnival Cruise Line Opens More 2025-26 West Coast Sailings
Carnival Cruise Line is adding more fun from the West Coast, including a new cruise to kick off Carnival Firenze’s debut in Long Beach, Calif. next spring. As Carnival continues to unlock its 2025-26 deployment, many more sailings on Carnival Firenze and Carnival Radiance opened today with an array of itineraries featuring Mexican destinations. The cruise line is also adding to its Carnival Journeys program of longer sailings with new Hawaii cruises. To see all sailings currently available from Long Beach, click here.

Cruises to Mexico

The new sailings now available from Long Beach add more options for guests sailing from the West Coast, where Carnival currently offers itineraries ranging from short weekend getaways to 15-day cruises. The new itineraries feature popular destinations such as Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and Catalina Island, Calif.

New sailings added to Carnival Firenze’s deployment schedule include a range of four-, five- and six-day sailings, with the six-day itineraries calling in Cabo San Lucas for two days. Carnival Radiance’s newly opened itineraries offer several three-, four- and five-day options.

In addition to new options now open for sale from the fall of 2025 and into the spring of 2026, Carnival has also opened an additional sailing for Carnival Firenze next spring, moving up the ship’s inaugural sailing to April 25, 2024. The ship’s first sailing from Long Beach will be a seven-day cruise visiting Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, and Cabo San Lucas.

The 4,126-guest Carnival Firenze will bring Carnival Fun Italian Style experiences to Long Beach when it launches next year. Architecturally styled after its namesake, the city of Florence, Italy, the ship’s Italian design will complement dining and bar venues, such as the new specialty restaurant Il Viaggio, as well as unique entertainment programming, including an Italian-themed deck party on Lido, that have proven popular on sister ship Carnival Venezia. More details about Carnival Firenze will be announced ahead of its debut next spring.

Carnival Journeys Cruises to Hawaii

Six new Carnival Journeys sailings from Long Beach to Hawaii are now open on Carnival Radiance. The 14-day sailings will offer guests truly memorable cruise vacations visiting stunning destinations across the Hawaiian Islands, including Maui, Honolulu, Kauai and Hilo, along with a stop in Ensenada. In 2025, Carnival Radiance will cruise to Hawaii on Oct. 18 and Nov. 29. The 2026 departures are set for Jan. 10, Feb. 7, March 7 and April 4.

The 2,984-guest Carnival Radiance features many of the ‘Fun Ship’ staples guests know and love, such as the RedFrog Pub and BlueIguana Cantina, plus some newer favorites, including Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse and Shaq’s Big Chicken.

Disney Cruise Line Celebrates Opening of New Cruise Terminal at Port Everglades
The magic of Disney Cruise Line has officially arrived at Broward County’s Port Everglades in greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Earlier today, Disney Cruise Line, along with port and community leaders, celebrated the opening of the new dedicated cruise terminal and Disney Cruise Line’s second year-round homeport in Florida.

“The grand opening of our new dedicated terminal is an incredible milestone as we embark on the largest expansion in our cruise line’s history,” said Sharon Siskie, senior vice president and general manager of Disney Cruise Line. “Now our guests will have even more options to experience the magic of a Disney vacation at sea and can begin creating lifelong memories with their loved ones from the moment they arrive.”

Port Everglades’ ideal location in South Florida offers guests the opportunity to experience beautiful beaches, world-class entertainment, shopping, and dining, as well as family and cultural activities, before or after their cruise. It is also conveniently located near major airports and highways, allowing guests to easily travel to and from the port.

Once guests arrive to the terminal to embark on their voyage, they will “dive” into the world of Disney and Pixar’s film, “Finding Nemo,” with some of their favorite friends from the film displayed on colorful murals. The more than 104,000-square foot terminal was reimagined by Walt Disney Imagineering exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests to provide a seamless embarkation experience.

Port leaders attended the dedication ceremony, including Port Everglades CEO and port director, Jonathan Daniels. He stated that, “Disney Cruise Line is adding a new dimension to the Port Everglades experience. Our staff is looking forward to this new journey with Disney Cruise Line and further diversifying our cruise portfolio to reach a broader audience.”

Broward County Mayor Lamar P. Fisher also attended the grand opening celebration, along with federal, state, and local leaders, and said, “Dream vacations start here in Broward County. The addition of Disney Cruise Line in our community provides travelers with more vacation options at Port Everglades, while boosting our local economy and creating more than 1,100 direct local jobs.”

Disney Cruise Line is committed to creating a lasting, positive impact in port communities. In recognition of Disney’s arrival to Port Everglades, the cruise line announced new community investments in Junior Achievement South Florida and Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County. The donations will support a variety of initiatives, including programs that inspire career exploration, innovation, and storytelling.

“Being a good steward in the port communities where Disney Cruise Line operates is so important to us. We’re proud to continue to invest in local youth programs that help empower and inspire the next generation of dreamers in Broward County,” Siskie said. Collaboration with these organizations will also provide Disney Cruise Line cast and crew, both on land and at sea, with the opportunity to volunteer as mentors and engage with local students through various educational programs.

“Community partners, like Disney Cruise Line, play a pivotal role in empowering the youth of today, shaping their futures for tomorrow. This support is not just a financial contribution, it’s an investment in the next generation,” said Laurie Sallarulo, president & CEO of Junior Achievement of South Florida (JA).

Disney Cruise Line’s donation to Junior Achievement of South Florida will support the JA Career Bound and JA Pre-Apprenticeship programs, including a special marine service technician track that educates students about the maritime industry, marine basics and engine fundamentals.

Chris Gentile, Co-CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County, added, “The impact of Disney Cruise Line’s commitment reaches the very heart of our mission, which is to empower and uplift the youth of Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County.” Disney Cruise Line’s donation will help strengthen and support several of the organization’s initiatives, such as the Youth of the Year program.

The Disney Dream will begin sailing from Port Everglades on November 20, 2023, followed by the Disney Magic on May 9, 2024, offering guests the opportunity to sail on a mix of three-, four- and five-night cruises to tropical destinations in The Bahamas and the Caribbean.

As part of Disney Cruise Line’s expansion, Disney Cruise Line and Broward County previously announced a 15-year agreement that includes a minimum 10.6 million passenger movements, and three 5-year extension options that could add another 11.25 million passenger movements. The agreement provides for one ship to homeport in Port Everglades year-round beginning this fall 2023, joined by a second, seasonal ship in 2025.

Holland America Line Announces 2025-2026 South America and Antarctica Cruises
Bookings are now open for Holland America Line's 2025-2026 South America and Antarctica season. Featuring a series of longer cruises up to 22 days, guests can experience the region's captivating blend of diverse cultures, breathtaking natural landscapes and rich historical heritage — including 16 UNESCO World Heritage sites and UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.

From November 2025 through March 2026, Oosterdam cruises between San Antonio (Santiago), Chile, and either Buenos Aires, Argentina, or Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The itineraries offer once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for travelers, showcasing the iconic sites of South America like Iguazu Falls, Machu Picchu and Torres del Paine National Park, along with Antarctica's memorable scenery and wildlife.

"South America is a vibrant region that offers contrasting experiences within one cruise, sailing from the tropics to glaciers and busy cities to some of the most remote places in the world," said Dan Rough, vice president, revenue management, Holland America Line. "Our mid-sized ships make it possible to craft itineraries that feature an exciting collection of South American ports; and our menus, enrichment and entertainment on board ensure guests come away feeling deeply connected to the places they visited."

Highlights of the South America and Antarctica Season aboard Oosterdam:

14-day "South America Passage" itineraries cruise between San Antonio (Santiago) and Buenos Aires:

• Guests enjoy an overnight visit at Buenos Aires at the beginning or end of each cruise, giving extra time to take in a tango show and experience the nightlife of one of South America's most vibrant cities.

• Ports include Puerto Montt, Puerto Chacabuco and Punta Arenas, Chile; Ushuaia, Argentina; Stanley, Falkland Islands; and Montevideo, Uruguay.

• Scenic cruising includes the Chilean Fjords, Strait of Magellan, Beagle and Cockburn Channels, Glacier Alley and rounding Cape Horn.

• Departures: Dec. 4, 2025, and Feb. 22 and March 8, 2026.

17-Day "Panama Canal and Inca Discovery" cruises sail between Fort Lauderdale and San Antonio (Santiago):

• Two nights at Callao (Lima), Peru, allow extra time for guests to take an overland tour to Machu Picchu.

• An overland tour to the Galapagos Islands is available.

• Calls in Grand Cayman, Panama, Ecuador, Peru and Chile, with an overnight at Fuerte Amador, Panama.

• A journey between Atlantic and Pacific oceans with a transit through the lakes and locks of the famed Panama Canal.

• Departures: Nov. 17, 2025, and March 22, 2026.

22-Day "South America and Antarctica" itineraries cruise between San Antonio (Santiago) and Buenos Aires:

• An overnight visit at Buenos Aires at the beginning or end of the cruise.

• Calls in Uruguay, Argentina, Falkland Islands and Chile.

• Four memorable days exploring the vistas of Antarctica, guided by a naturalist who comes on board to point out penguin colonies and whale pods.

• Scenic cruising in the Chilean fjords, Drake Passage, Beagle Channel and Glacier Alley.

• Departures: Dec. 18, 2025 (holiday cruise), and Jan. 9 and 31, 2026.

Collectors' Voyages Combine Back-to-Back Cruises
The "Panama Canal and Inca Discovery" itineraries can be combined with the "South America Passage" cruises to form a 31-day exploration between Fort Lauderdale and Buenos Aires. Merging back-to-back sailings into one Collectors' Voyage allows guests to create an extended cruise vacation that visits different areas of South America.

An Abundance of UNESCO Sites in South America
Holland America Line 2025–2026 South America cruises visit 16 UNESCO World Heritage sites and UNESCO Biosphere Reserves. This esteemed collection represents the best of human heritage and the natural world: Archaeological Site of Old Panama and Historical District of Panama, the city of Cusco, Machu Picchu, Nazca Lines, Historic Quarter of the Seaport City of Valparaiso, Torres del Paine National Park, Alberto de Agostini National Park, Cape Horn, Los Glaciares National Park, Galapagos Islands, Chan Chan Archaeological Zone, Argentina's Valdes Peninsula, Lima's Historical Centre, Historic Quarter of the City of Colonia del Sacramento, Iguazu Falls and Iguazu National Park.

Authentic Experiences On Board and Ashore
On South America and Antarctic cruises, Holland America Line brings local flavors on board. Guests enjoy fresh, locally sourced specialties such as Chilean salmon, stuffed empanadas, and world-renowned wines including Malbec, Carménère, Torrontés and more. On immersive shore excursions, guests can visit an indigenous Emberá tribe, meet a real Chilean huaso (cowboy), learn to craft a traditional Panama hat or enjoy an intimate dinner at an Argentine "closed-door restaurant."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 12.78 + 4.24%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 97.84 + 8.18%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 13.10 - 0.08%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Prior to the introduction of fin stabalizers, some ships used a gyro-stabilizer system to combat rolling. What was the name of the first major liner to use this gyro-stabilizer system?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which famous French liner caught fire in April 1939 while tied up at her pier and capsized the next morning from having too much water poured onto her upper decks? Bonus: What happened to her after that?

Answer - This liner was the PARIS. She burned in the port of LE HAVRE and wreck stayed 10 years on place because of war, and was scraped on place. courtesy of ernando Molina, Seville, Spain.


Cruise News - November 6, 2023

Explora I in New York City Marks Explora Journeys’ Debut in the U.S.
Explora Journeys, the luxury travel brand of MSC Group, today will celebrate the naming ceremony of EXPLORA I in New York City.

The maritime tradition of cutting a ribbon to break a bottle of champagne on the ship’s bow to officially name the ship and bring good luck, will be conducted by EXPLORA I’s Godmother Dr Sylvia Earle, the renowned marine biologist and oceanographer, at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, Cruise Division, MSC Group, said, “In the world of luxury travel, EXPLORA I is a game-changer. We are offering journeys that redefine the very essence of luxurious ocean travel. We are looking to attract a wider group of discerning travelers who have experienced the finest luxury land-based resorts but seek more value, more authenticity, and a deeper connection to the world. Explora Journeys is the answer by giving you a way to discover off the beaten track destinations by sea, all whilst enjoying some of the best real estate in the world. With a further five ships joining the fleet in the next five years, we are committed to delivering the same unique experience on board, wherever you are in the world.”

Michael Ungerer, CEO, Explora Journeys, added, “Today’s event is a significant milestone for Explora Journeys as our first ship EXPLORA I brings to life our vision to reshape luxury travel. . We are proud to introduce a new era of discovery and luxurious travel and to showcase our first ship in the vibrant city of New York."

Dr Sylvia Earle, Founder and Chairman, Mission Blue, said “I am honoured to be the Godmother for EXPLORA I and look forward to a meaningful relationship between Mission Blue, Explora Journeys and the MSC Foundation towards making a very positive contribution to protect and restore the world’s seas and oceans.”

EXPLORA I, the first of six luxury ships constructed by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri in a deal valued at €3.5 billion, began sailing in July this year with a series of journeys in Northern Europe before crossing the Atlantic to New York with visits en route to Iceland, Greenland and Canada.

The ship has 461 oceanfront suites, penthouses and residences, six restaurants, 12 indoor and outdoor bars and lounges, four swimming pools, extensive outdoor decks with private cabanas and nearly 1,000 square metres of wellness and fitness facilities.

The luxury ship will spend the autumn in North America, the winter in the Caribbean and spring on the U.S West Coast and Hawaii before returning to Europe in Summer 2024 for a series of sailings in the Mediterranean Sea with many itineraries including lesser-travelled ports for EXPLORA I’s guests to enjoy a different perspective of a destination.

EXPLORA II will enter service in summer 2024 and operate until April 2025 in the Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East. EXPLORA III and EXPLORA IV will both be powered by liquefied natural gas and enter service in 2026 and 2027 respectively. EXPLORA V and EXPLORA VI will enter service in 2027 and 2028 respectively and both will have state-of-the-art energy efficiency measures and be capable of using alternative fuels such as bio and synthetic gas. These two ships will pursue the use of liquid hydrogen with fuel cells for their hotel operations while docked in ports to eliminate carbon emissions with the vessels’ engines switched off.

Celebrity Cruises Takes Delivery of Highly Anticipated Celebrity Ascent
Celebrity Ascent has officially joined Celebrity Cruises' fleet of award-winning ships redefining premium travel, as company officials took delivery of its newest ship at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France. The fourth ship in the line's innovative Edge Series, Celebrity Ascent continues to shatter preconceived notions of cruising with its forward-thinking design by the world's leading architects and interior designers; culinary excellence from Michelin starred chefs; wellness woven throughout the experience; expansive onboard entertainment and more. Celebrity Ascent will make her official debut in Fort Lauderdale on December 3, with a 7-night Eastern Caribbean sailing visiting such popular destinations as St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and the Dominican Republic.

Welcoming the ship to the Celebrity Cruises family were Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO Jason Liberty, Celebrity Cruises President Laura Hodges Bethge, and Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l'Atlantique. Captains Dimitrios Kafetzis and Tasos Kafetzis, the first brother captains honored with taking a new ship from the shipyard, were also on-hand for the celebration, along with 1,400 Celebrity Ascent crew members.

To mark the moment, they participated in several maritime traditions including the signing ceremony and the changing of flags onboard the ship, along with a celebratory toast in the ship's spectacular three-story Grand Plaza.

"Celebrity Ascent is yet another example of innovation driving our mission to provide the best vacations responsibly. The ship continues Celebrity's ambition to redefine premium travel and take it to new heights," said Liberty. "I want to thank and congratulate the Chantiers de l'Atlantique team, our Newbuild and Celebrity Cruises' teams and their partners for the vision, craftsmanship and passion that went into bringing this spectacular ship to life."

"Celebrity Ascent features all the innovative and award-winning Edge Series signature experiences that launched a new era in cruise ship design, plus a few new enhancements, and I can't wait to welcome our guests aboard," said Hodges-Bethge. "It is a true honor to welcome this ship to our fleet and I am so grateful to everyone involved with all that goes into launching a new ship."

"I am convinced that Celebrity Ascent will meet the same success as the other ships in the prestigious Edge Series. Its fine exterior and interior design and its exceptional seaworthiness make it an outstanding ship. Celebrity Ascent embodies the strong bond between the Chantiers de l'Atlantique, Royal Caribbean Group and Celebrity Cruises teams," said Chantiers de l'Atlantique General Director Laurent Castaing."

Largest Princess Cruise Ship Ever Homeported at the Port of Galveston Debuts for Inaugural Season
Regal Princess arrived in Galveston today, marking the start of a milestone cruise season as the largest Princess cruise ship ever based in Texas. Carrying 3,560 guests, Regal Princess offers roundtrip voyages to the Western Caribbean through March 24 with an anticipated 75,000 cruisers sailing aboard this Love Boat from this convenient, scenic Texas homeport.

To celebrate the occasion, Princess Cruises Chief Commercial Officer Terry Thornton, Regal Princess Captain Aldo Traverso and Celebrations Ambassador Jill Whelan hosted a traditional maritime plaque exchange with Galveston Wharves Board Vice Chairman Jeff Patterson. A festive performance by Galveston's local Ball High School Drill Team Tornettes and school mascot Tuffy kicked off the event.

"We first started sailing out of Galveston nearly 20 years ago. Princess loves Texas and we know Texans enjoy the convenience of having the Love Boat so close by offering a hassle-free drive or convenient fly option to enjoy the beautiful destinations in the Western Caribbean," said Thornton. "As we celebrate the arrival of Regal Princess, we extend our deep appreciation to the Port of Galveston for their ongoing partnership, and we're excited to welcome aboard the only premium cruise experience from Galveston."

Regal Princess begins a series of 21 voyages from Galveston, ranging in length from seven- to 12-days, visiting popular destinations in the Western Caribbean and Mexico like Cozumel, Costa Maya and Roatan. Cruisers can also choose special holiday sailings over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. There is even a "Love and Romance Celebration" themed cruise with Love Ambassador and bridal fashion icon Randy Fenoli, departing Dec. 3. He will host special events, share his personal success story, offer tips on how to choose the right wedding dress and even debut the "Randy" cocktail.

"Princess Cruises is an iconic cruise line and we're delighted to welcome guests from Regal Princess, the largest Love Boat to ever sail from Galveston," said Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO. "Regal Princess will visit beautiful ports throughout the western Caribbean while expanding the array of attractive and enticing cruise vacation choices from Galveston, America's fourth most popular homeport."

The 142,229-ton Regal Princess boasts 19 decks and features ocean views from more than 1,400 stateroom balconies. Guests can stroll on the SeaWalk, a glass-floor walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship, take an inviting dip in top-deck pools and hot tubs and relax in the Sanctuary retreat reserved for adults. From the cruise line's delicious array of dining options, mesmerizing entertainment and welcoming MedallionClass service, Regal Princess offers something for everyone.

To mark the 20th anniversary of when Princess first started sailing out of Galveston and the 10th anniversary of the debut of Regal Princess, the ship will return for another series of Western Caribbean cruises for the 2024-2025 season. Cruises are on sale now.

Azamara Appoints New Executive Leadership
Azamara, the small-ship cruise line and leader in Destination Immersion experiences and Extended Destination Days, today announced the appointment of two senior executives to lead the company in its next phase of growth.

Dondra Ritzenthaler has been named Incoming Chief Executive Officer. A 40-year veteran of the travel industry, Ms. Ritzenthaler was most recently the Senior Vice President of Sales, Trade Support and Services for the Americas for Celebrity Cruises. Prior to her 20 years with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, she spent nearly 20 years with American Airlines in a number of sales and marketing leadership roles. Ms. Ritzenthaler will begin at Azamara in May 2024. Until that time, Chair of Azamara, Dan Hanrahan, will provide day-to-day leadership and oversight of the team.

"Azamara provides a unique and exciting offering within the luxury cruise space, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the company into its next chapter," said Ritzenthaler. "I look forward to working with the talented team and their travel partners to better serve the customer base and grow the Azamara brand."

Alain Ferzli joins Azamara as Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Ferzli has more than 20 years of significant experience driving profitable growth in the cruise industry. He served as the acting Chief Financial Officer for Virgin Voyages and in various financial leadership roles with Royal Caribbean.

Mr. Hanrahan commented, "Our team has worked diligently to maintain a solid foundation for Azamara amid unique industry-wide challenges over the last several years. Dondra and Alain's deep knowledge of and experience leading cruise lines will support the shift of our focus to expanding our business and realizing Azamara's full potential."

Oceania Cruises Releases New 2024 Itineraries
Oceania Cruises, the world's leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, has revamped its 2024 Mediterranean schedule to replace ports of call in Israel, Egypt, and Jordan with perennial favorites and compelling new destinations alike. The 42 revised itineraries range from 10 to 58 days - detailed itineraries can be viewed online.

"Our captivating new voyages have been carefully curated to combine beloved beach resorts and jet-set playgrounds with ancient cities steeped in tradition," stated Frank A. Del Rio, president of Oceania Cruises. "Seasoned travelers will appreciate our strategic and thoughtful realignment of destinations and itineraries to ensure their safety, security and peace of mind."

Oceania Cruises' simply MORE value promise means virtually everything is included in the voyage fare: free roundtrip airfare and airport transfers; complimentary vintage Champagnes, premium wines and international beers during lunch and dinner; and a shore excursion credit of up to $1,600 per stateroom (credit varies by voyage length).

New 2024 Mediterranean Itineraries

April 21: 10 days from Valletta to Trieste aboard Vista
Enjoy the best of the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Adriatic seas. Classical sights can be appreciated in Valletta, Heraklion, Athens, Dubrovnik and Venice, while sybaritic pleasures line the cobblestone streets of Santorini, Mykonos, Kotor and Rovinj. The following Around the World and Grand Voyages also reflect these changes:

• March 27: 35 days from Miami to Trieste

• April 11: 20 days from Rome to Trieste

May 13: 24 days from Dubai to Barcelona aboard Insignia
On this epic voyage travelers can visit astonishing historical treasures in Athens, Valletta, Dubrovnik, Rome and Barcelona, plus delight in discovering the resorts of Santorini, Capri and Monte Carlo. The following Around the World and Grand Voyages also reflect these changes:

May 14: 15 days from Dubai to Trieste aboard Riviera
Enjoy leisurely days as you traverse the Arabian, Red, Mediterranean and Adriatic seas. Highlights include Argostoli and Corfu in Greece, Montenegro and Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia. An optional post-cruise hotel stay is offered in Venice. The following Grand Voyages also reflect these changes:

• April 13: 58 days from Tokyo to Barcelona

• April 28: 43 days from Singapore to Barcelona

• May 14: 34 days from Dubai to Rome

• May 14: 27 days from Dubai to Barcelona

May 18: 14 days from Barcelona to Rome aboard Marina On this two-week journey quaint, white-washed houses compete for attention with centuries-old attractions. Guests enjoy an idyllic blend of must-see cities like Barcelona, Athens, and Rome, plus the well-known resorts of Palma de Mallorca, Corfu, Santorini and Sorrento, gateway to Capri.

May 21: 11 days from Rome to Trieste aboard Vista Travelers can revel in the wonders of antiquity at mainland ports in Italy, Greece, and Croatia, plus explore the islands of Sicily, Malta, Corfu, and Montenegro. Optional pre- and post-cruise hotel stays are offered for guests to visit Rome and Venice. The following Grand Voyage reflects these changes:

• May 11: 21 days from Istanbul to Trieste

May 29: 12 days from Trieste to Barcelona aboard Riviera
Set a course for excitement on this new itinerary that promises something for everyone. Ports along the Dalmatian Coast, the islands of Montenegro, Corfu, Malta and Sicily, and history-rich Pompeii, Rome, and Florence, plus St. Tropez. The following Grand Voyages also reflect these changes:

• May 29: 19 days from Trieste to Rome

• May 29: 29 days from Trieste to Istanbul

• June 1: 11 days from Trieste to Athens aboard Vista
From Trieste, the ship heads for the Adriatic coastal resorts of Zadar, Dubrovnik, Kotor, and Bari before making landfall at ports in Turkey and Greece. Optional pre- and post-cruise hotel stays allow guests to visit Venice and Athens. The following Grand Voyage also reflects these changes:

June 1: 18 days from Trieste to Istanbul

July 7: 10 days from Athens to Istanbul aboard Riviera
Itinerary highlights include historic sites in Greece and Turkey, including UNESCO-protected Ephesus, and the quintessential Greek islands of Mykonos and Santorini, plus ancient Crete. An overnight in Istanbul allows time to shop for treasures at the Grand Bazaar. The following Grand Voyage also reflects these changes:

• June 27: 20 days from Istanbul to Istanbul

July 24: 10 days from Athens to Barcelona aboard Riviera
This voyage is a journey of discovery from East to West. Highlights include iconic places like Athens, Rome, Florence, and Barcelona, as well as popular Greek islands, Sicily and jet-set resorts along the Amalfi Coast and French Riviera.

August 13: 12 days from Rome to Rome aboard Riviera
In 12 days, inquisitive travelers can explore the many historic riches of Rome, Athens and Pompeii, plus visit the Amalfi Coast and the Mediterranean islands of Malta, Mykonos, Santorini, Sicily and Crete. The following Grand Voyages also reflect these changes:

• August 3: 22 days from Barcelona to Rome

• August 13: 22 days from Rome to Monte Carlo

September 28: 10 days from Athens to Istanbul aboard Riviera
This cruise combines the Croatian city of Dubrovnik and remote Kotor with beloved Mykonos and Santorini, and the classical antiquity of Athens, Crete, and Ephesus. An overnight aboard ship in Istanbul provides time to visit the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.

October 2: 14 days from Barcelona to Valletta aboard Marina This comprehensive voyage on the Mediterranean and Aegean seas enables visitors to discover iconic sights in Barcelona, Florence, Rome, and Dubrovnik, savor the seaside resorts of Toulon, Portofino and Capri, and explore the island gems of Corsica, Sicily, Corfu, and Malta. The following Grand Voyages also reflect these changes:

• September 22: 24 days from London to Valletta

• September 22: 34 days from London to Rome

• October 2: 24 days from Barcelona to Rome

October 16: 10 days from Valletta to Rome aboard Marina
The islands of Malta, Montenegro, Corfu and Sicily are chock-full of historic attractions, plus this itinerary also visits Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia; Katakolon, Greece; and Bari, Naples and Rome, Italy. The following Grand Voyages also reflect these changes:

• October 16: 20 days from Valletta to Barcelona

• October 16: 42 days from Valletta to Miami

October 20: 10 days from Athens to Rome aboard Vista
Athens, Gythoin, Argostoli and Corfu in Greece, the Dalmatian coastal treasures of Kotor and Dubrovnik, and the medieval island of Malta are complemented by calls at Messina, Salerno and Rome in Italy. The following Grand Voyage also reflects these changes:

October 13: 17 days from Barcelona to Rome

October 30: 12 days from Rome to Athens aboard Vista
Intriguing islands like beguiling Mykonos and Corfu in Greece, stunning Montenegro, legendary Sicily, and medieval Malta, are combined with Rome, Cinque Terre, Toulon, Dubrovnik and Athens, birthplace of democracy. The following Grand Voyages also reflect these changes:

• October 30: 21 days from Rome to Rome

• October 30: 36 days from Rome to Miami

November 11: 9 days from Athens to Rome aboard Vista
On this comprehensive itinerary, travelers can visit classical sites in Athens, Gythion and Argostoli in Greece, the islands of Montenegro, Malta and Sicily, plus Dubrovnik, Salerno and Rome. The following Grand Voyage also reflects these changes:

• November 11: 24 days from Athens to Miami

Nov 24: 18 days from Istanbul to Dubai aboard Riviera
Sailing from Istanbul, fun-loving Mykonos, ancient Athens, the walled city of Dubrovnik, and the lesser-known resorts of Kotor and Argostoli give way to leisurely days at sea. Guests enjoy an overnight call in Dubai before disembarkation. The following Grand Voyages also reflect these changes:

• November 14: 28 days from Barcelona to Dubai

• November 24: 28 days from Istanbul to Abu Dhabi

• November 24: 49 days from Istanbul to Singapore

Celebrity Cruises Reveals Name of Next Edge Series Ship
The countdown is on, and the future of elevated travel at sea is officially on its way. Celebrity Cruises announced today that the fifth ship in its award-winning Edge Series will be named Celebrity Xcel, continuing the innovative experiences coveted in her sister ships and then going even further for an unmatched premium vacation experience.

The reveal was made at Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, as executives from both Royal Caribbean Group, the world's leading family of cruise vacation brands that includes Celebrity Cruises, and the shipyard cut the first piece of steel for the new ship.

"The Edge Series has shattered preconceived notions of cruising, and I am thrilled to announce our next bold step as a brand with Celebrity Xcel," said Celebrity Cruises' President Laura Hodges Bethge. "True to her name, this next ship will 'Xcel' beyond her sister ships with entirely new experiences, yet to be revealed, but that will change the game all over again."

Celebrity Xcel will make her debut in November 2025 in the Caribbean, sailing her inaugural winter season from Fort Lauderdale, on 7-night itineraries alternating between the Bahamas, Mexico and the Cayman Islands, and Puerto Plata, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten. The sailings are now open for sale.

Like her highly anticipated sister ship Celebrity Ascent, debuting later this month, Celebrity Xcel will connect guests to the breath-taking world around them like never before. The onboard experiences on these ships stand them apart as a class of ships without comparison with such distinctive features and spaces as:

• The Retreat, an exclusive resort-within-a-resort area for suite guests, highlighted by a two-story sundeck;

• Accommodations for today's modern tastes from modern two-story villas with private plunge pools to staterooms with infinite verandas, blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living;

• An expanded Rooftop Garden and stunning Resort Deck featuring unique cantilevered float pools;

• A multi-level, multi-terraced Sunset Bar redefining the ship's aft;

• A Daniel Boulud fine-dining restaurant at sea;

• Live entertainment and activities creating the best date nights and days at sea;

• A boldly redesigned Grand Plaza spanning three decks, creating an airy and open indoor space;

• And, the return of the Magic Carpet, an engineering feat soaring cantilevered above the sea, offering guests uninterrupted vistas while sipping cocktails or having dinner.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 12.26 + 7.54%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 90.44 + 5.33%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 13.11 - 3.03%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which famous French liner caught fire in April 1939 while tied up at her pier and capsized the next morning from having too much water poured onto her upper decks? Bonus: What happened to her after that?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which famous liner is credited with starting the Art Deco movement at sea and what year did she enter service?

Answer - The liner which started it all was Transat's Ile-de-France of 1927......and what a beauty she was!!!!! courtesy of D. Heiningn


Cruise News - October 30, 2023

Carnival Jubilee Completes River Conveyance as She Readies for Sea Trials
Carnival Jubilee, which is set to debut in Texas in December, successfully finished a nautical feat as the first Carnival Cruise Line ship to complete a conveyance of the river Ems in northwest Germany. The first Carnival ship built at Meyer Werft, Carnival Jubilee was successfully transferred from the German shipyard in Papenburg to Eemshaven, Netherlands ahead of its upcoming sea trials.

To complete the conveyance, an experienced team at the helm of Carnival Jubilee sailed the Ems backwards toward the North Sea – departing Papenburg early Monday morning with the support of two tugboats to help with maneuverability. A group of Ems River pilots, the Pilot Brotherhood of Emden, assisted in carrying out the transfer. The pilots are highly trained and use state-of-the-art technology, including a realistic simulation of the river, to prepare for the passage.

The ship was carefully guided through narrow channels and under several bridges before arriving in Eemshaven early Tuesday morning, ahead of the first round of sea trials which begin on Nov. 5. Carnival Jubilee will be led and manned during the sea trials by a full contingent of officers, technicians and engineers on board to thoroughly test its technical, mechanical and navigational systems.

Meanwhile, work on board continues as shipbuilders are outfitting Carnival Jubilee with the amenities guests will enjoy when sailings begin from Galveston. Exclusive new concepts in sea-themed areas of the ship will delight guests with delicious food and beverage options, such as the Dr.Inks, Ph.D Bar, as technology and other design elements transport them from a sunny pier-like “boardwalk” to an adventurous ocean-floor promenade. The cruise line’s third ship to be powered by a Liquefied Natural Gas propulsion system, Carnival Jubilee also features other stunning innovations – including top-deck rollercoaster BOLT: The Ultimate Seacoaster.

Carnival Jubilee’s first revenue cruise will depart from Galveston on Dec. 23. The ship will sail weeklong cruises to popular Caribbean destinations, including Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, as well as Mahogany Bay (Roatan).

Royal Caribbean Group Reports Third Quarter Results
Royal Caribbean Group today reported third quarter Earnings per Share ("EPS") of $3.65 and Adjusted EPS of $3.85. These results were better than the company's guidance due to stronger close-in demand and further strength in onboard revenue. The company is also increasing its full year 2023 Adjusted EPS guidance to $6.58 – $6.63, driven by strong demand and continued strength in onboard revenue.

"The strength of our brands and the acceleration of consumer spending on experiences have propelled us towards another outstanding quarter and a robust 2023," said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. "Looking ahead, we see accelerating demand as we build the business for 2024. Our booked load factors are higher than all prior years and at higher rates, further supporting our trajectory towards the Trifecta goals," added Liberty. "The combination of our leading brands, the best people, and the most innovative fleet and destinations, positions us exceptionally well to deliver on a lifetime of vacation experiences while creating long-term shareholder value."

Third Quarter 2023 Results:

• Gross Margin Yields increased 19.1% As-Reported, and Net Yields increased 16.7% in Constant-Currency (16.9% As-Reported), both compared to the third quarter of 2019.

• Gross Cruise Costs per Available Passenger Cruise Day ("APCD") increased 14.4% As-Reported, and Net Cruise Costs ("NCC"), excluding Fuel, per APCD increased 10.3% in Constant-Currency (10.1% As-Reported), both compared to the third quarter of 2019.

• Total revenues were $4.2 billion, Net Income was $1.0 billion or $3.65 per share, Adjusted Net Income was $1.1 billion or $3.85 per share, Adjusted EBITDA was $1.7 billion.

Full Year 2023 Outlook:

• Net Yields are expected to increase 12.9% to 13.4% in Constant-Currency (12.4% to 12.9% As-Reported), compared to 2019.

• NCC, excluding Fuel, per APCD is expected to be up 7.0% to 7.5% in Constant-Currency (6.5% to 7.0% As-Reported), compared to 2019, and includes approximately 30 basis points impact due primarily to reduced APCDs on cancelled Israel and related sailings.

• Fuel pricing and foreign exchange rates are negatively impacting EPS by $0.18, compared to prior guidance. In addition, impacted sailings related to Israel deployment is expected to impact the year by approximately $0.03.

• Adjusted EPS is expected to be in the range of $6.58 to $6.63 per share.

Third Quarter 2023

Royal Caribbean said that it reported Net Income for the third quarter of $1.0 billion or $3.65 per share compared to Net Income of $33.0 million or $0.13 per share for the same period in the prior year. The company also reported Adjusted Net Income of $1.1 billion or $3.85 per share for the third quarter compared to Adjusted Net Income of $65.8 million or $0.26 per share for the same period in the prior year.

Gross Margin Yields increased 19.1% As-Reported, and Net Yields increased 16.7% in Constant-Currency (16.9% As-Reported) when compared to the third quarter of 2019. Third quarter revenue across North America and Europe itineraries exceeded expectations due to better close-in demand that translated into higher load factors and pricing, as well as continued strength in onboard revenue. Load factor for the third quarter was 110%.

Gross Cruise Costs per APCD increased 14.4% As-Reported, compared to 2019. NCC, excluding Fuel, per APCD increased 10.1% As-Reported and 10.3% in Constant-Currency, compared to 2019. Lower operating expenses, as well as favorable timing, contributed to better-than-expected costs.

Revenue Environment and 2024 Outlook

Bookings remained strong throughout the third quarter, significantly exceeding 2019 levels. Closer-in demand for 2023 sailings exceeded expectations, contributing to higher load factors at higher prices and higher onboard revenue for the third quarter. Consumer spending onboard, as well as pre-cruise purchases, continue to significantly exceed 2019 levels driven by greater participation at higher prices. As of September 30, 2023, the Group's customer deposit balance was at $5.0 billion.

Demand for 2024 has continued to accelerate, with bookings significantly and consistently outpacing 2019 levels. Booked load factors and rates are higher than all prior years while the booking window has continued to extend. The market response to the company's new ships, existing hardware, and the expansion of Perfect Day at CocoCay, and Hideaway Beach, has been excellent and further positions the company for strong yield and earnings growth in 2024.

Fourth Quarter 2023

Net Yields are expected to be up 16.2% to 16.7% in Constant-Currency and 15.0% to 15.5% As-Reported, both compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Continued strong demand for the company's vacation experiences and strength in onboard revenue contributes to increased yield expectations for the fourth quarter.

NCC, excluding Fuel, per APCD for the quarter are expected to increase 3.9% to 4.4% in Constant-Currency and 3.3% to 3.8% As-Reported, both compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.

Fuel pricing and foreign exchange rates are negatively impacting EPS by $0.15, versus previous expectations. Impacted sailings related to Israel deployment are negatively impacting the quarter by approximately $0.03.

Based on current fuel pricing, interest and currency exchange rates and the factors detailed above, the company expects fourth quarter Adjusted EPS to be $1.05 to $1.10 per share.

"The performance of our business continues to accelerate, driven by strong demand and excellent operational execution," said Naftali Holtz, chief financial officer at Royal Caribbean Group. "Our formula of moderate yield growth, strong cost discipline, and moderate growth of our fleet delivers a strong financial profile and enhanced margins."

Fuel Expense

Bunker pricing net of hedging for the third quarter was $668 per metric ton and consumption was 408,000 metric tons.

Royal Caribbean said that it does not forecast fuel prices and its fuel cost calculations are based on current at-the-pump prices, net of hedging impacts. Based on today's fuel prices, the company has included $300 million of fuel expense in its fourth quarter guidance at a forecasted consumption of 413,000 metric tons, which is 54% hedged via swaps. Forecasted consumption is 54%, 60%, 39%, and 3% hedged via swaps for the remainder of 2023, 2024,2025, and 2026, respectively. The annual average cost per metric ton of the hedge portfolio is approximately $576, $509, $479 and $778 for 2023, 2024, 2025, and 2026, respectively. The higher average cost in 2026 is driven by only MGO consumption hedged that year.

Sun Princess Will Mesmerize Guests with New Show-stopping Productions and Favorite Shows
Iconic performances and world-class experiences headline a show-stopping array of incredible entertainment awaiting guests across the sensational new Sun Princess, the largest-ever ship from Princess Cruises debuting in early 2024.

Today the cruise brand announced four exceptional production shows that will take center stage in the Princess Arena, the most technologically advanced entertainment venue at sea. The pinnacle of technological innovation in the world of cruise ship entertainment, the configurable Princess Arena supports shows in the round, in a 270-degree keyhole configuration, as well as via a traditional proscenium theater.

"The Princess Arena is an engineering marvel that allows us to create awe-inspiring entertainment, offering our guests a completely different experience every night," said Denise Saviss, vice president of entertainment experience for Princess Cruises. "Not only will our productions shine, but the venue itself, with its state-of-the-art stages, captivating lighting design, and immersive surround-sound, will deliver show-stopping spectacles on every voyage."

Headlining the entertainment line-up are three completely new productions, showcasing the tremendous talents of the Sun Princess troupe with four lead vocalists, 13 top dancers and eight Dome Cirque artists in various performances, including:

Princess Arena Theater Shows

NEW! Vallora, A Pirate Quest – Created, directed and choreographed by Danny Teeson of "American Idol" fame, Pirates features an upbeat and nostalgic 80's soundtrack, including Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams," Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger," Chicago's "You're the Inspiration" and Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now." The show follows the intrepid heroine 'Vallora' through a pirate adventure, telling a thrilling story of searching for what's lost and above all else, family and love.

NEW! Stage Struck – Celebrating musical theater, Stage Struck features "On Broadway" from Smokey Joe's Café, "Danced All Night" from My Fair Lady, "Take Me or Leave Me" from Rent and "One Night Only" from Dreamgirls. Directed and choreographed by Karen Bruce, of "So You Think You Can Dance" for BBC and numerous shows on the West End.

NEW! Viva La Música – This scintillating musical experience from famed Latin American choreographer Liz Imperio, the well-known choreographer of concert tours for Jennifer Lopez, Madonna and Gloria Estefan, features Latin soundtrack favorites like Miami Sound Machine's "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," Camila Cabello's "Havana," Santana's "Oye Como Va," and Pete Rodriguez's "I Like It Like That." The Latin Grammy inspired concert is highlighted by a dance couple who invite guests to join them on the dance floor for a unique immersive experience.

PRINCESS FAVORITE REIMAGINED! Fiera! – Love blossoms at a turn-of-the-last-century colorful European fairground in a story revealed through an artfully selected medley of popular songs such as Guns & Roses' "Sweet Child of Mine," and Lady Gaga's "Born This Way." Directed by famed choreographer Danny Teeson, a large, brilliantly costumed cast of performers brings the story to life, dancing on a vibrant set with a spectacular digital backdrop.

Entertainment extends throughout the ship including two additional prominent venues– the Piazza and The Dome – an iconic new venue at the top forward portion of the ship.

The Dome

The mesmerizing artistry of one of the entertainment industry's biggest names, the renowned Cirque Éloize, will be on full display in The Dome, a remarkable multi-level entertainment venue perched atop the ship.

Three specially-created and captivating shows - "Blue," "Come Fly Away," and "Artbeat" - will transport guests into a world of emotion, color, and music, featuring awe-inspiring acts such as aerial hoops, aerial poles, bungees, Cyr wheel, silks, mind-bending contortions, and more.

Inspired by the enchanting terraces of Santorini, The Dome is a pioneering glass-enclosed structure, the first of its kind ever constructed on a cruise ship. By day, it transforms into an indoor/outdoor oasis with a sparkling pool, while at night, it evolves into an electrifying entertainment venue with a South Beach vibe.

Piazza

The heartbeat of the ship, the Piazza on Sun Princess reflects an exciting evolution, surrounded by a multi-tiered sphere of glass offering expansive views as well as a wide selection of entertainment every voyage. Here guests can continue to enjoy beloved musical acts and performances, as well as favorite game shows and an elevated Champagne Waterfall event.

As with all Princess voyages, Sun Princess guests will be greeted with a NEW Sailaway Party, NEW night-time Welcome Show, a NEW Themed Deck Party, NEW Game Shows and a memorable NEW Farewell Show and Light Spectacle.

Guests sailing Sun Princess also can enjoy Spellbound by Magic Castle, a collaboration with the famed Hollywood icon. The extraordinary experience blends the captivating world of magic with the art of mixology and features incredible feats of magic from talented magicians, surprises in themed rooms and theatrical cocktails delivered by sleight-of-hand servers.

Debuting in February 2024, Sun Princess is currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. The 175,500-ton, 4,300-guest Sun Princess will also offer an array of exciting new culinary offerings, as well as luxurious staterooms and suites across a broad spectrum of categories. With the most balconies and sun decks on any Princess ship, guests can take in the sunshine and crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean and Caribbean from the comfort of their stateroom.

Quantum of the Seas Returns to Queensland
Australian families can pack their bags, as the ultimate family holiday has arrived. Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas is back in Brisbane for the summer with a line-up of 3- to 9-night holidays to the South Pacific and Queensland’s stunning coast. The homecoming of Queensland’s most innovative getaway follows the arrival of Brilliance of the Seas in Sydney, marking the start of Royal Caribbean’s biggest season ever in Australia, with 30% more holidaymakers and counting ready to set sail.

From the gateway to the idyllic islands of the South Pacific, families, friends and couples can enjoy adventure, relaxation and everything in between while on a weekend getaway or longer holiday on Quantum. Travellers can island hop and explore a variety of destinations that range from local favourites, including Airlie Beach and Cairns, Australia; as well as the welcoming South Pacific locales of Mystery Island and Port Vila, Vanuatu; and Noumea, New Caledonia.

Royal Caribbean’s bumper 2023-2024 season will set new records, and Quantum will be at the top of the list. More than 115,000 holidaymakers have planned to take their summer holidays from Brisbane with the cruise line, a 15% increase from the 2022-2023 summer. More than two-thirds (64%) of these travellers are local Queenslanders while 1 in 10 have flown in from New South Wales (14%) and Victoria (11%), supporting Queensland’s already buoyant tourism economy. With three award-winning Royal Caribbean ships Down Under, including Ovation of the Seas set to arrive in Sydney next week, more than 250,000 guests will get away on the ultimate summer holidays from Australia this summer.

The world’s largest cruise line will also continue to bring locally sourced produce to the table at Quantum’s 20-plus restaurants, bars and lounges as well as those on Brilliance and Ovation. This includes more than 74,800 kilograms of Queensland bananas, 112,000 kilograms of Queensland pineapples, 341,400 kilograms of Australian potatoes as well as a new partnership with Australian-owned Ponting Wines, which serves a range of locally and sustainably sourced wines blends from South Australia and Tasmania.

Gavin Smith, vice president and managing director of Australia and New Zealand, Royal Caribbean International said: “With the highly anticipated return of Quantum of the Seas to Brisbane, Royal Caribbean’s biggest and boldest season in Australia is in full swing. Quantum and its signature line-up of experiences for all ages and types of travellers became a fan favourite right away during its first season in Queensland, and in response to that popularity, now there are 25 itineraries to choose from that vary in length and destinations. This unprecedented response to the idea of the ultimate family holiday is why we’ll see one-third more holidaymakers join us for a summer getaway like no other.”

From one-of-a-kind thrills and entertainment to flavours from around the world, there are endless ways for holidaymakers of all ages to make memories together and on their own adventures while sailing from one idyllic island to the next on Quantum.

Adrenaline-fuelled activities and firsts on board the Queensland favourite include the RipCord by iFly skydiving simulator, FlowRider surf simulator, a rock climbing wall and SeaPlex – the largest indoor activity complex at sea – which features bumper cars, basketball, roller-skating and more. To refuel in between memory-making, there are more than 20 restaurants, bars and lounges to choose from. The tasty line-up includes Chef’s Table, the most exclusive and elevated dining experience on board that serves five courses, and Jamie’s Italian for family-style Tuscan classics. And ways to cap off the day can range from enjoying full-scale productions in the Royal Theatre or at Two70, where robotics, performers and physical scenery create a multisensory experience; and live music in Music Hall, Schooner Bar and more. With so much to see and do on Quantum, holidaymakers can then kick back at the Vitality Spa or find balance with state-of-the-art equipment and panoramic ocean views at the Fitness Center.

Royal Caribbean’s biggest and boldest season has already kicked off with Brilliance’s arrival in Sydney on Sunday Oct. 22. The ship’s debut in Australia marks the start of a six-month season of 20 immersive itineraries visiting 40 sun-soaked and culture-rich destinations, including Fiji, the Loyalty Islands and locales in Australia like Port Douglas, Melbourne and Kangaroo Island.

For a seventh season from the iconic Sydney Harbour, Ovation will complete the trifecta of Australia’s ultimate summer holidays when it returns to Sydney on Friday, Nov. 3. Travellers can get away on 20 3- to 11-night holidays that will visit destinations along New Zealand’s rugged coastline like Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch.

Holland America Line Introduces New Caribbean Menu
Fresh, local flavors lead the way for Holland America Line's award-winning cuisine on Caribbean sailings with new regionally themed menus in the Dining Room and Lido Market. Adding to the culinary journey, Caribbean-bound guests can now enjoy a new themed brunch, indulge in local rum tastings, and savor a traditional, pirate-inspired rum punch crafted by renowned mixologist David Wondrich, who also will share his expertise on a March cruise aboard Zaandam.

Offered on sea days, all dishes on the new Caribbean Brunch menu in the Dining Room showcase fresh, local ingredients. Selections range from sweet tropical flavors to savory and include Jamaican Banana Pancakes, Sweet Potato Chowder with chili peppers, Cuban Medianoche Pork and Cheese Sandwich, Jerk Burger with grilled pineapple salsa, Dominican Fried Chicken with beans and rice, and Florida Key Mahi-Mahi Sandwich with grilled pineapple.

"The rich flavors of the Caribbean add a new dimension to our guests' dining experience with an immersion into the region's culinary heritage — from fresh Puerto Rican tostones made from local plantains to a variety of tropical fruits and spices," said Michael Stendebach, vice president of food, beverage and guest services at Holland America Line. "Even traditional Holland America Line favorites, like our bread pudding and crepe bar, will embrace Caribbean flavors with new variations in Lido Market."

Local Flavors on Display in the Dining Room

The Dining Room features a range of new dishes showcasing island staples and favorites on all Caribbean cruises, including:

• Chilly Caribbean Shrimp Cocktail with orange habanero aioli.

• Jerked Pork Tenderloin with peanuts, rice pilaf and black beans.

• Mahi Mahi Diablo with cilantro rice and guajillo chilies.

• Spiced Pork Belly with pineapple, salsa, roasted squash and sweet potatoes.

• Corn and Salt Fish Fritter with garlic aioli.

• Chicken and Callaloo Soup with butternut squash, garlic, thyme and toasted coconut.

• Steamed Stone Crabs served chilled with a Dijon aioli dipping sauce (supplemental charge).

• Taste the Caribbean Islands in Lido Market

During Caribbean sailings, the casual Lido Market features regional favorites like Puerto Rican Tostones. Made fresh daily with plantain chips, Puerto Rican Tostones are served open-faced for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Topping selections range from tropical fruit for breakfast to pulled pork, garlic shrimp or vegetarian for dinner.

The Lido Market's popular crepe bar features regional fruits and toppings with a buttered rum sauce. Lido dinner options include Caribbean Lamb Curry, Caribbean Roasted Pork Sandwich, Jerk Lamb Shank, Braised Brisket Criollo, Frita Cubana, Jamaican Garlic Shrimp, Jamaican Braised Oxtail, Rockfish Cou-Cou, and a selection of regional island hot sauces.

Caribbean Bread Pudding

Holland America Line's bread pudding is a longtime favorite and the most requested recipe by guests. While traditional bread pudding originated in Europe, it also has strong ties to the Caribbean where early settlers used local flavors to create their own, unique bread puddings. To honor this fusion of flavors, Caribbean sailings feature new bread puddings, including Jamaican Bread Pudding, Chocolate Hazelnut Bread Pudding, Caribbean Bread Pudding, Chocolate Bread Pudding, Coconut Bread Pudding, Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding and Blueberry Croissant Pudding -- all served with a warm rum vanilla sauce.

Pirate History Meets Modern Mixology

While the original Caribbean pirates didn't have the luxury of today's premium cruise ships, modern guests can indulge in a concoction inspired by their seafaring traditions. Crafted by David Wondrich, a James Beard award-winning drinks historian, the new 18th Century Pirate Punch draws inspiration from the rum punch shared by pirates. It features pot-stilled Jamaican rum, a dash or Orange Curaçao, various citrus juices and a traditional sprinkling of fresh-grated nutmeg.

In addition to the punch, guests can indulge in a unique rum tasting that samples premium rum from distilleries in the region. Highlights of the rum tasting include:

Bacardi 8 — Aged for a minimum of eight years, this smooth, rich rum has a complex flavor profile with hints of vanilla, caramel and oak. Pussers Admiralty — A British Navy-style rum that boasts a full-bodied flavor profile with hints of brown sugar, toffee and exotic spices. Pryrat XO — Aged up to 15 years in French Limousine oak barrels for a deep amber hue and velvety texture, flavored with caramel, honey and tropical fruits, complemented by subtle notes of spice and vanilla. Brugal 1888 — Aged in ex-bourbon barrels from the Dominican Republic and finished in ex-sherry casks, resulting in a refined and complex flavor profile with notes of chocolate, dried fruits and oak. Mount Gay Eclipse — A medium-bodied rum with subtle notes of ripe banana, vanilla and almond.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 11.40 - 2.40%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 85.86 + 4.01%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 13.52 - 4.45%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Here's another Photo Cruise Trivia - This picture was taken in September of 1963. The ship passing behind our ship is pretty easy to recognize, but can you name the ship from which the photo was taken? Look closely, there are clues...


Click Here for a larger version of the picture.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which famous liner is credited with starting the Art Deco movement at sea and what year did she enter service?

Answer - The liner which started it all was Transat's Ile-de-France of 1927......and what a beauty she was!!!!! courtesy of D. Heiningn


Cruise News - October 23, 2023

Carnival Freedom Returns To Service With New Look – And New Funnel
Once again sporting an iconic winged funnel, Carnival Freedom marked its return to service by welcoming guests on board in Barcelona, Spain for a 14-day transatlantic voyage to its homeport of Port Canaveral, Fla. The ship underwent an extensive refurbishment that included the installation of the new funnel, the addition of the signature Carnival red, white and blue hull livery and other enhancements.

Earlier this month, the 2,980-guest ship entered its 16-day dry dock at the Navantia shipyard in Cadiz, Spain. The ship’s vibrant transformation is a significant milestone for the shipyard. While the yard’s team members have worked on other projects across the fleet, this is the first time they have designed and manufactured a Carnival funnel.

Among the other enhancements is a newly installed Heroes Tribute Bar, which is an expanding venue across the Carnival fleet and honors military veterans and active-duty service members. Carnival Freedom now also features a Dreams Studio, where guests can capture memories that become keepsakes from their cruise with the help of Carnival’s photography staff. Some of the other work includes an expansion to the ship’s casino, and renovations and upgrades across the ship’s staterooms and public areas.

Carnival Freedom’s two-week-long transatlantic Carnival Journeys cruise from Spain is offering guests an unforgettable journey that includes visits to Valencia, Malaga and Las Palmas, Spain as well as Bermuda. From Port Canaveral, the ship offers four- and five-day sailings to destinations in The Bahamas, such as Nassau and Princess Cays, as well as other Caribbean destinations, including Grand Turk. Many new itineraries were recently opened for the ship, and among them are sailings that feature Carnival’s upcoming exclusive destination, Celebration Key, as a port of call beginning in 2025.

Norwegian Cruise Line Returns to Asia for the First Time in Three Years
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) today celebrates its long-awaited return to Asia as Norwegian Jewel set sail from Tokyo and commenced its extensive six-month season of voyages in the region.

As the first ship in the NCL fleet to return to Asia in over three years, Norwegian Jewel will offer 16 immersive and port-rich itineraries, visiting 11 countries and sailing from nine different departure ports, including Bangkok (Laem Chabang) Thailand; Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang) Malaysia; Singapore; Taipei (Keelung), Taiwan; Bali (Benoa), Indonesia; Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan; and for the first time in NCL history Seoul (Incheon), South Korea.

Cruises range in length from 10 to14 days with an average of less than two sea days per sailing, inviting guests to enjoy up to 13.5 hours in iconic destinations like Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, as well as extended overnight stays in places that come alive at night, such as Phuket, Thailand; Osaka, Japan; and Bali (Benoa), Indonesia. The brand will also make its first calls to Manila, Boracay, Palawan and Salomague, Philippines; Bintan Island, Indonesia; and Hualien, Taiwan.

“Today is a milestone moment, as we return to Asia with Norwegian Jewel’s arrival to Tokyo,” said David J. Herrera, president of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We pride ourselves in delivering the best vacation experience and providing endless opportunities for our guests to explore the world…including Asia! This region delivers some of the most intriguing history, cuisine, and culture for travelers to discover, and we are thrilled to deliver a diverse selection of port-rich voyages. This market is important to us, and we are committed to servicing it in the long term.”

Firmly underlying the brand’s commitment to Asia, both as a source market and destination, NCL will have a record four ships deployed in the region during the 2024/25 season, providing travelers with unrivalled choice. In addition to Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Spirit, Sun and Sky will also visit the area’s most diverse ports, offering guests the opportunity to explore iconic and less discovered destinations including Japan, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia.

Norwegian Sun Debuts in Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific and Asia

Making its premiere, Norwegian Sun will offer a six-month Asia Pacific season, including 13 exotic itineraries from October 2024 to April 2025, four of which have never been offered before, including three departures from Melbourne, Australia and an Auckland, New Zealand to Bali, Indonesia sailing in March 2025. Departure ports include Melbourne and Sydney, Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; Honolulu; and Papeete, French Polynesia with itineraries showcasing the sublime scenery of each bucket-list worthy destination.

Norwegian Spirit Returns to Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific and Asia

After an incredibly successful maiden season, Norwegian Spirit will return to Australian and New Zealand waters for its second consecutive season from December 2023 through March 2024 for a series of popular open-jaw sailings between Sydney and Auckland. It will then sail a number of repositioning cruises in the South Pacific, before returning to the region for a series of 14 Asia voyages during an eight-month season from September 2024 to April 2025, departing from Manila, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo and Seoul.

Norwegian Sky Sails a Series of Exotic Itineraries in Asia, Asia Pacific and Africa

Norwegian Sky’s four-month Asian season features seven sailings departing from Manila, Philippines; Singapore; Taipei, Taiwan; Tokyo; and Port Louis, Mauritius between December 2024 and March 2025. Sailings range from 10 to 17 days and include several country-immersive voyages for a deeper discovery of fascinating destinations such as the Philippines and Japan.

For guests looking to fully immerse themselves in the destination, select sailings can also be combined with a three night/four day land exploration with one of NCL’s Cruise Tours in Tokyo, Taipei and Singapore.

Cunard Celebrates Six-Month to Debut of New Ship Queen Anne with spectacular New York event
On October 18, 2023, Cunard introduced elements of their newest ship, Queen Anne, to New York with a celebratory event at the company's former New York offices 25 Broadway – now Cipriani 25 Broadway. Unveiling art by contemporary artists that will appear on board and spotlighting a new entertainment venue, the iconic cruise brand provided guests with an immersive introduction to this new vessel, their first in 13 years.

Alan Cumming dazzled the audience by performing with a cabaret-style set, bringing the new intimate entertainment venue Bright Lights Society to life. The name Bright Lights Society speaks to Cunard's heritage, as theirs was the first ocean liner to use electric lights. Alan will be sailing as part of Cunard's onboard Insights program on Queen Mary 2's December 8th Crossing.

Another highlight of the evening was a contemporary art exhibit displaying new pieces for the ship which will have the largest curated art collection at sea. Created by up-and-coming and established artists, the display is part of the 4,300-piece collection onboard Queen Anne. Artists included photographer Michael James O'Brien, Canadian artist Eric Louie, Brooklyn textile artist Shradha Kochhar, and London-based artist Tommy Camerno.

Katie McAlister, President of Cunard, said: "This evening is a full circle moment for the company as we come together at this historic, magnificent building, which bridges Cunard's 183-year historic legacy with the modern era of ocean travel. Our new ship, Queen Anne, will pay homage to her royal namesake, renowned for her dedication to the arts and innovative spirit; as such, the ship will usher in a new era for Cunard as we introduce new experiences for our guests, complementing our signature, timeless style."

Queen Anne will launch into service in May 2024. The 113,000-ton vessel will have 14 decks and 15 dining venues, holding up to 3,000 guests. In her maiden season, Queen Anne will be sailing in Europe with itineraries including the Canary Islands, British Isles, Norwegian Fjords, Western Mediterranean, and more.

Discovery Princess to Call Sydney Home for the 2025/26 Australian Summer Season
Princess Cruises yesterday announced that its current flagship vessel – Discovery Princess – will make Sydney its home port in the 2025/26 summer Australia season.

Built in 2022, the 145,000-ton ship measuring 330 metres in length, and 19 decks high will be the biggest ship Princess Cruises has ever homeported in Australia in its 50-year history of cruising down under. The 3,660-guest, ship will debut in her home port of Sydney in October 2025, offering a number of itineraries from Australia.

Princess Cruises’ President John Padgett in Sydney yesterday to officially welcome Royal Princess on her debut summer season in Australia shared the news in an early reveal of the line’s 2025/26 program.

“Nearly half a century has passed since Princess Cruises introduced the Pacific Princess ship to Sydney’s shores. In commemoration of this milestone, we are delighted to unveil the future deployment of the Discovery Princess today, further solidifying our belief in the Australian market,” said Padgett. “We are confident that both our international and Australian guests will be excited about the spectacular experience aboard Discovery Princess as she sails from Sydney in late 2025."

Discovery Princess, the third vessel designed from the ground up with Princess MedallionClass and the sixth Royal-Class ship to be built shares all the spectacular style and luxury of her sister ships – Enchanted Princess, Sky Princess, Majestic Princess, Regal Princess and Royal Princess. With an array of spectacular features, guests will enjoy 270-degree sweeping views from the largest balconies in the Princess fleet with the Sky Suites, unwind in the ultimate comfort at the Sanctuary and indulge the senses with world-class dining options including new to Australia 360: An Extraordinary Experience now available for all guests sailing on Discovery Princess. The Award-winning 360: An Extraordinary Experience is exclusively offered on Discovery Princess and Enchanted Princess taking guests on a sensory journey through world-class cuisine with a fusion of master story-telling and visual entertainment.

In addition, Discovery Princess elevates the guest experience with an abundance of amenities including 14 restaurants, 10 bars and additional lounges, and entertainment options. Among its dining options is The Catch by Rudi, Crown Grill, Sabatini’s Trattoria and Gigi’s Pizzeria. Other features include the SeaWalk, a breathtaking glass-bottomed enclosed walkway that extends nearly 9 metres beyond the ship's edge, treating guests to awe-inspiring views while suspended 39 metres above the sea.

Other notable features include private poolside cabanas, four main pools including two top deck pools, Retreat Pool and Wakeview Pool, 10 hot Tub spas, the Enclave and Lotus Spa featuring Princess’ largest-ever thermal suite, and an exquisite Chef’s Table Lumiere dining option, where guests are magically surrounded by a curtain of light. Meanwhile, more than 82 per cent of the ship’s staterooms offer a private balcony.

In addition to the incredible amenities aboard Discovery Princess, guests also enjoy the Princess exclusive MedallionClass experience, offering a level of service personalisation previously only available on small ships now delivered on a large ship, amenity-rich platform.

The connected guest experience maximises guests’ time by delivering a host of onboard conveniences including contactless payment for anything on board; expedited embarkation; keyless stateroom entry; muster anywhere; friends and family locator; and ordering food, drinks, retail items or requesting service from their smart device or a crew member and having their order delivered directly to them…even if they move.

Padgett added the cruise line is thrilled to announce the addition of Discovery Princess to its Australian fleet for the 2025/26 summer season. The ship will sail in local waters with other Princess ships Crown Princess and Grand Princess as part of the summer program to be revealed in full next month including the longest World Cruise yet.

“Discovery Princess will continue to set new standards for premium cruising when she sails from Australia in the 2025/26 summer season. She’s an incredible ship with many wonderful features for our guests, from superb cuisine to world-class entertainment and facilities.”

Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas Arrives in Sydney
A new summer of new adventures in Australia is here. Marking the start of Royal Caribbean International’s biggest line-up of 2023-2024 holidays Down Under, the cruise line’s Brilliance of the Seas has arrived in Sydney for the first time. The new holiday begins a six-month season of 5- to 18-night cruises to unique and idyllic destinations, from Fiji and the Loyalty Islands to locales in Australia like Port Douglas, Melbourne and Kangaroo Island.

Holidaymakers can have their pick of 20 different immersive itineraries and 40 sun-soaked and culture-rich destinations this summer with Brilliance, where they will enjoy a more intimate experience as they go from one spectacular place to the next. In store are destinations in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific that range from Port Douglas, Melbourne, Newcastle, Kangaroo Island and Gladstone, Australia; to Lifou, Loyalty Islands; Denarau and Suva, Fiji; plus Luganville, Vanuatu. Friends and families can also take exploration to the next level on 16- and 18-night holidays to even more far-flung destinations along Australia’s Top End and West Coast, as well as the New Zealand Sounds. What’s more, the two holidays can be combined to enjoy an epic 34-night Australia and New Zealand adventure.

Gavin Smith, vice president and managing director of Australia and New Zealand, Royal Caribbean International, said: “The start of Royal Caribbean’s Australian biggest summer season is officially here with the arrival of the intimate and unforgettable Brilliance of the Seas in Sydney. With such destination-rich holidays as well as the variety of dining, entertainment, ways to relax and more on board, Brilliance is a spectacular new way to explore top destinations in style and in great company with everyone in the family and group of friends. This is just the beginning of a bold summer as we look forward to a bumper season packed with three ships delivering the best family holiday experiences from Australia.”

With Brilliance’s striking 10-deck-high windows and ocean-facing glass elevators, travellers can take in breathtaking views as they sail to each destination and make memories across a variety of dining, entertainment, nightlife and more. The experiences for all ages on board vary from scaling Royal Caribbean’s signature rock climbing wall overlooking the ocean and playing mini golf with the family to sipping drinks with friends at the rotating Starquest bar with 180-degree views or the popular Vintages wine bar. Dining options are aplenty, including the family-style Italian trattoria, Giovanni’s Table, fresh sushi at Izumi and the intimate and exclusive multi-course Chef’s Table. When it comes to kicking back and recharging the mind, body and soul, there’s a full-service Vitality Spa, with everything from facials and bamboo massages to manicures and a salon.

Royal Caribbean has even more celebrations in the pipeline for holidaymakers. After an unforgettable debut in Queensland last year, Quantum of the Seas will return on Saturday, Oct. 28, with 3- to 9-night holidays that offer the best family getaway from Brisbane to the picturesque islands of the South Pacific and the Queensland coast. The popular Ovation of the Seas is back in Australia’s iconic Sydney Harbour on Friday, Nov. 3, with a mix of 3- to 12-night getaways around Australia’s East Coast, the South Pacific and New Zealand’s rugged coastline for its seventh season in the region.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 11.68 - 5.50%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 82.55 - 4.79%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 14.15 - 5.41%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which famous liner is credited with starting the Art Deco movement at sea and what year did she enter service?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When Carnival's 46,052 ton Holiday was built in 1985 she set the record as the largest cruise ship built in that particular country. In what country was she built? Bonus: Name the shipyard?

Answer - The MS Holiday set the record for the largest ship build in Denmark at Aalborg Vaerft. courtesy of Byron Clayton, Singapore


Cruise News - October 16, 2023

Rhapsody of the Seas Helps Evacuate Americans from Israel
Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas helped evacuate Americans from Israel on Monday amid the vilonce that errupted this past weeke in Israel and Gaza.

Royal Caribbean had already cancelled Rhapsody of the Seas scheduled cruise from Haifa and when contacted by the U.S. Embassy in Israel, the cruise line agreed to re-deploy the ship to offer Americans the chance to depart from Haifa en route to Cyprus on a first-come, first-serve basis.

According to the New York Post, "thousands" raced to make the boarding call, which began at 8 a.m. local time. There were no immediate reports on the number of people evacuated, but the ship can carry about 2,500 people when fully loaded.

"Royal Caribbean Group is actively supporting the U.S. Department of State in the assisted departure of American citizens," Royal Caribbean said in a statement to UPI.

The State Department said about 500,000 American citizens live in Israel.

Royal Caribbean Reveals Name of Next Icon Class Ship
Drum roll, please: The next revolutionary vacation is on the horizon, and its name is Star of the Seas. Just shy of 100 days until the introduction of the first-of-its-kind combination of every vacation with the first in the Icon Class lineup, Icon of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International has revealed the name of the next Icon Class ship and its debut season – the summer of 2025.

The world’s largest cruise line will follow up Icon’s debut, the start of a new era of vacations, in the boldest way. With the combination of every kind of vacation that’s unique to Icon Class – from the beach retreat to the resort escape and the theme park adventure – the lineup of new experiences and favorites on Star will set the stage for even more ways for every type of family and adventurer to make memories without compromise. Currently under construction in Turku, Finland, the new ship and its features will soon be revealed.

“The idea of combining the best of every type of vacation into one ultimate adventure has created more excitement than ever anticipated, and Star of the Seas will be the next bold answer to the record-breaking consumer demand we’ve seen for nearly a year and counting with Icon of the Seas,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.

The first look at Icon* and Icon Class set the tone in October 2022 when it led to the cruise line’s single largest booking day and highest volume booking week in the brand’s then 53-year history. The unprecedented consumer demand sparked Royal Caribbean to release 2025-2026 vacations on Icon three months ahead of schedule and now Star’s name and debut season. Icon’s highlights include six record-breaking waterslides at Thrill Island’s Category 6 waterpark, seven pools – one for every day of the week; Surfside, a stay-all-day neighborhood for young families; entertainment across air, ice, water and stage; 40-plus ways to dine and drink; and more.

Star will also mark another step in this new era as the cruise line’s third ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), combining the use of the cleanest-burning marine fuel available to date with a proven lineup of industry-leading environmental programs on board. With applications ranging from waste heat recovery systems to shore power connection, Royal Caribbean’s most sustainable ship will advance parent company Royal Caribbean Group’s journey to introducing a net-zero cruise ship by 2035.

Carnival Cruise Line Opens New Sailings for Europe and Additional Cruises Visiting Celebration Key
Carnival Cruise Line announced new deployment plans today, including that Carnival Miracle will offer cruises in Europe in the summer of 2025 and that more cruises are opening for 2025-26 from Miami, Tampa, Port Canaveral, and New Orleans. An additional 100 cruises with calls to Carnival’s new exclusive destination Celebration Key are being unveiled amid the new itineraries. All the latest additions to Carnival’s sailing schedule are now open to the public, and full details on every itinerary currently open for sale can be found on Carnival.com.

Carnival Miracle Bringing Fun to European Cruises in Summer 2025

In Europe, Carnival Miracle will sail 16 cruises in summer 2025. The 2,124-guest ship will depart from three homeports across Europe: Lisbon, Portugal; Dover (London), U.K. and Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy. The ship’s first cruise of the season departs Lisbon for Dover, with visits to La Coruna and Bibao, Spain as well as Le Verdon (Bordeaux) and Le Havre (Paris), France.

From Dover, nine sailings are now open, with nine-, 12- and 15-day itineraries available. Spectacular destinations span several regions across Europe, including the British Isles – with ports of call that include Belfast in Northern Ireland and Liverpool in England. Some sailings highlight destinations in Spain, Portugal and France, and others visit ports of call in Iceland, such as Reykjavik, as well as destinations in Northern Europe and the Baltic Sea including Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Copenhagen, Denmark and Helsinki, Finland. Carnival Miracle will also offer a unique 15-day repositioning itinerary from Dover to Civitavecchia visiting popular destinations across France, Spain, Portugal and Italy.

Several cruises departing Civitavecchia visit port cities in Italy, Turkey, and Greece. Cruises of eight to 14 days are available. Ports of call from Civitavecchia include Istanbul and Kusadasi (Ephesus) in Turkey; Piraeus (Athens) and Mykonos in Greece and Naples, Italy and Messina on the island of Sicily. The ship’s final cruise from Europe in 2025 will be a 14-day Carnival Journeys voyage from Civitavecchia to Tampa, Fla., with visits to Cartagena, Spain; Ponta Delgada, Azores and Nassau, The Bahamas.

After the ship’s series in Europe, Carnival Miracle will reposition to Tampa and will homeport there for six-, seven- and eight-day cruises in late 2025 and 2026. Destinations across the various itineraries now open from Tampa include Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan; Belize; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Colon, Panama; Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico and many more.

New Sailings from U.S. Homeports Include Itineraries Featuring Celebration Key

Carnival’s upcoming exclusive destination, which is set to open in the summer of 2025, will be a major feature of many 2025-26 sailings that opened for sale today. Adding 100 more sailings with visits there brings the total number of available itineraries featuring Celebration Key to 500. Now, Celebration Key is set to welcome 18 Carnival ships sailing from nine U.S. homeports.

The Port of Tampa is the latest Carnival homeport to add sailings that feature visits to Celebration Key. In 2025, Carnival Paradise will sail four- to six-day cruises, with select sailings visiting the new destination along with other popular ports of call that include Nassau and Bimini as well as Cozumel and Mahogany Bay.

At PortMiami, Carnival Horizon, Carnival Magic and Carnival Sunrise will offer cruises of various lengths, from long weekend getaways to week-long sailings across the Caribbean. Several of these itineraries include visits to Celebration Key. Among the other destinations available are Grand Cayman; Montego Bay; Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; Belize; Cozumel; Mahogany Bay; San Juan, Puerto Rico and Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays, Bahamas.

Carnival Vista will feature many visits to Celebration Key amid her six- and eight-day alternating cruise schedule from Port Canaveral. The ship’s Eastern Caribbean sailings also visit destinations such as Amber Cove and Half Moon Cay, as well as calls to St. Thomas and San Juan, while Southern Caribbean sailings feature exotic Aruba and Bonaire. Select sailings during Carnival Venezia’s seasonal schedule from Port Canaveral also include visits to Celebration Key and other popular Caribbean destinations.

Carnival Venezia will also sail three special 14-day Carnival Journeys cruises from Central Florida. Two of the special cruises visit St. Thomas; Antigua; St. Lucia; Grenada; Barbados; the British Virgin Islands and San Juan. Another 14-day journey sails to the Panama Canal with visits to Grand Turk; Aruba; Curacao; Colon, Panama; Limon, Costa Rica; Montego Bay and Grand Cayman.

Carnival has also opened new sailings on Carnival Valor from another top homeport: New Orleans. The ship will sail four- and five-day cruises from New Orleans visiting popular destinations such as Cozumel and Costa Maya as well as Progreso (Yucatan), Mexico. A selection of longer sailings includes six- and seven-day cruises, along with two special Carnival Journeys cruises that will sail across the Atlantic Ocean. A 16-day sailing from New Orleans to Barcelona in April 2025 features several beautiful destinations in Portugal and Spain, as does a 15-day sailing from Barcelona to New Orleans in June 2025.

Holland America Line Completes Shore Power Connectivity Installation Across Fleet
With the completion of shore power installation on Volendam, Holland America Line’s entire fleet is now shore power-capable. Volendam completed installation in Vancouver, British Columbia, and connected to the port’s shoreside electricity for the first full day on Sept. 27.

The cruise line began converting ships to have shore power connectivity in 2006 with its four Vista Class ships; its Pinnacle Class ships (Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam and Rotterdam) all were built with shore power systems installed, and the Signature Class ships (Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam) were launched with a partial installation that has since been completed. As a part of its sustainability initiatives, Holland America Line uses shore power, also referred to as cold ironing, to reduce emissions and noise in port. Shore power works by plugging the ship into a dockside source, and the power source enables the ship to run all electrical equipment on board without using the ship’s engines. Holland America Line can connect in more than 18 ports worldwide, with more than 25 additional ports actively constructing shore power facilities or investigating the option to do so.

“At Holland America Line, our legacy of exceptional on-board care extends to caring for the planet, and having our entire fleet capable of shore power connection is a tremendous milestone in our sustainability efforts,” said Gus Antorcha, president, Holland America Line. “We have committed to reducing our carbon emission intensity 20% by 2026 from our 2019 baseline, and we’re on our way to reaching that goal through a variety of initiatives that include shore power. We look forward to more global ports embracing shore power capability in the future and are ready to work with them to connect.”

Ports that Holland America Line ships visit with shore power include Juneau, Alaska; New York; San Francisco and San Diego, California; Seattle, Washington; Halifax, Montreal and Vancouver, Canada; Bergen, Ålesund and Kristiansand, Norway; Kiel, Germany; and Shanghai and Xiamen, China. In 2024, the port of Rotterdam is expected to be shore-power ready, allowing Holland America Line ships to connect in another of its major ports.

In addition to shore power, Holland America Line demonstrates its commitment to responsible environmental practices through a comprehensive fleetwide program that emphasizes waste reduction and recycling, compliance with all international environmental guidelines and lower-emission propulsion technology.

Holland America Line initiated efforts to significantly reduce non-essential single-use items, and single-use plastics are not permitted on board. The company no longer uses plastic soda or water bottles, stir sticks, straws and bags, along with single-use food packets such as ketchup, mustard and salt. Recyclable glass and aluminum containers are the choice for water and soda pop. Plastic straws have been replaced with biodegradable straws, and plastic hot- and cold-beverage cups have been replaced with plant- or paper-based options. “We’ve made our packaging changes in a thoughtful manner to ensure that we can both reduce our footprint and also maintain our outstanding guest experience,” added Antorcha. To reduce food loss and waste, Holland America Line installed biodigesters that use oxygen, water and microorganisms to break down and liquify uneaten food to be sustainably released back to nature. This process helps to reduce methane and carbon dioxide emissions created by the ocean’s natural food decomposition processes. Food waste dehydrators offer an alternate method of food waste processing that has the potential to reduce waste volume by about 90%. Dehydrators will be installed fleet wide on Holland America Line by the end of 2023 to reduce the overall volume of organic waste.

Princess Cruises Announces Partnership with World's Most Famous Butcher
A shared passion for tradition, tastes and a love of celebration underscores a new exclusive partnership between Princess Cruises and the world's most famous butcher, Dario Cecchini. This collaboration introduces a new specialty impromptu bistro, The Butcher's Block by Dario, onboard the next-generation Sun Princess, debuting in February 2024.

Passed down eight generations from father to son, and with more than 48 years of experience, Cecchini is recognized around the world for his butcher shop and restaurants located in the Tuscan village of Panzano, Italy. Featured on Netflix's popular "Chef's Table," Cecchini is known for taking care and responsibility for the animals and bringing respect back to butchering by using all the cuts of meat, featuring his grandmother's recipes that he fell in love with as a boy.

The Butcher's Block by Dario, located on deck 9 of the new Sun Princess, comes to life as a specialty impromptu experience featuring a large shared, family-style table serving up a carnivore's paradise. This specialty dining experience promises to grill up perfectly prepared beef and steak, including Cecchini's signature cuts.

In addition, the cruise line's signature steakhouse, Crown Grill, will feature a refined upscale menu designed by Cecchini. The menu proudly features the highly coveted "Bistecca Alla Fiorentina," a distinctive Florentine Steak prepared with the bone, sourced directly from the prestigious Antica Macelleria Cecchini butcher shop in Panzano.

"Princess' culinary offerings embody a rich Italian heritage, uniting a shared passion for family recipes, vibrant social dining, and a love of celebrating each day of life," expressed Cecchini. "My life as an artesian butcher holds deep significance because I hold profound respect for the gift of the animal and ensure that shines through when guests enjoy my new restaurant and delectable menus sailing the world on the beautiful Sun Princess."

In addition to The Butcher's Block by Dario and Crown Grill elevating the culinary offerings on Sun Princess, previously announced specialty restaurants include Kai Sushi, a modern sushi bar; Sabatini's Italian Trattoria, a Princess favorite serving up fresh-made Italian pastas and unique courses; Umai Teppanyaki, another Sun Princess exclusive offering a fusion of teppan cuisine and showmanship; and The Catch by Rudi, from renowned Chef Rudi Sodamin featuring treasures from the sea.

"Princess is dedicated to creating the finest experiences for guests spanning all cultures, tastes and preferences," said John Padgett President Princess, "from fine dining to casual and from indulgent to healthy, guests will love what the Sun Princess is bring to the table."

Throughout Sun Princess, guests will be treated to 29 new and signature dining and lounge options, offering savory journeys, entertaining eats, sumptuous sips and satisfying snacks. Also new for Sun Princess is Horizons, the three-story, main dining room elevating the traditional main dining experience with stunning wake views, natural light, art sculptures and memorable meals from friendly waitstaff.

Currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, the 175,500-ton, 4,300-guest Sun Princess will also offer an array of exciting new entertainment and activity offerings, as well as luxurious staterooms and suites across a broad spectrum of categories.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 12.36 - 2.60%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 86.70 - 1.73%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 14.96 - 10.15%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When Carnival's 46,052 ton Holiday was built in 1985 she set the record as the largest cruise ship built in that particular country. In what country was she built? Bonus: Name the shipyard?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which current cruise line established its own training school for on board crew in Bintang, Indonesia in 1969?

Answer - Holland Ameica Line established its training center in Indonesia in 1969. courtesy of Larry P. McDonald


Cruise News - October 9, 2023

Carnival Freedom Will Soon Sport Iconic Carnival Funnel Once Again
It’s the Fun Ship emblem – the crown seen atop most of the Carnival Cruise Line fleet, and now Carnival Freedom will once again be outfitted with the iconic winged funnel design she was built to carry. The replacement funnel, which is being constructed now, is one of several improvements planned for the ship.

The ship's original funnel was damaged in a fire in May 2022 fire. No passengers or crew were injured in the fire, which was quickly extinguished, but caused extensive damage to a portion of the funnel.

The 2,980-guest Carnival Freedom begins a 16-day dry dock refurbishment project today at the Navantia shipyard in Cadiz, Spain. The work to construct the new funnel is already well underway, marking the first time this shipyard has designed and manufactured a Carnival funnel.

In addition to the funnel’s replacement, several other refurbishments are also planned for the ship’s exterior, including the installation of new decking and the addition of the now-signature Carnival red, white and blue hull design that is a feature of most of the ships in the fleet. A Heroes Tribute Bar, which serves as a salute to veterans and active-duty service members, will be added along with other enhancements.

More details will be shared about the enhancements made to Carnival Freedom once the work at the shipyard is completed.

Carnival Adds More Variety in Cruise Options from the West Coast
Carnival Cruise Line this week announced future sailings from Long Beach, Calif. on Carnival Panorama, Carnival Radiance and Carnival Firenze are now available. The newly announced offerings include six- and eight-day itineraries on Carnival Panorama from May 2025 through April 2026 and feature a wider variety of options and destinations from Long Beach including Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, La Paz and Ensenada. The new sailings can be seen here on Carnival.com.

“Long Beach is one of our top homeports, and now with the upcoming addition of Carnival Firenze, joining Carnival Panorama and Carnival Radiance in Long Beach, we’re able to further diversify our offering, welcome more guests aboard and give them more options from the West Coast,” said Fred Stein, Carnival’s vice president of revenue planning and deployment.

The new sailings feature a wide range of itineraries that visit the Mexican Riviera and Baja Mexico. The following is a sampling of what each ship will offer beginning in May 2025:

Carnival Firenze

Carnival Firenze will offer four-day cruises visiting Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico as well as five-day Mexican Riviera cruises calling in Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, Mexico. These cruises are now open for sale between the spring and fall months of 2025.

Carnival Firenze, named after the city of Florence, Italy, will join the fleet sailing from Long Beach in May 2024 as the second ship to showcase Carnival Fun Italian Style experiences, which debuted earlier this year with the arrival of Carnival Venezia sailing from New York. Carnival’s signature fun, friendly crew and many familiar venues complement several new, creative concepts – including Italian-themed restaurants, bars and entertainment – and beautiful, unique architectural designs that embody the ship’s namesake.

Carnival Panorama

Carnival Panorama, which currently operates seven-day sailings, will now alternate between six- and eight-day itineraries departing Saturdays and Sundays. These sailings begin in the spring of 2025 and are now open for sale into the spring of 2026. The six-day sailings to Mexico will feature itineraries calling in Ensenada and two days in Cabo San Lucas while the eight-day cruises will sail guests to Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta.

Carnival Radiance

Alternating three- and four-night cruises, nearly 50 new getaways to Ensenada, Mexico are available on Carnival Radiance from the spring to the fall of 2025. The ship’s three-day weekend cruises departing Fridays visit Ensenada while the four-day cruises call in Ensenada and add a stop in Catalina Island.

Cruises to the Mexican Riviera and Baja Mexico offer guests the chance to experience thrilling adventures and relaxing experiences alike, complemented by spectacular natural beauty and rich, immersive culture. Popular shore excursions enjoyed by thousands of guests year-round include a zipline adventure course that offers thrilling rides above the foothills of the Sierra Madre as well as an ATV ride that winds through the breathtaking Guadalupe Valley and its rolling country hills filled with vineyards and olive trees.

Additional 2025-26 itineraries from other Carnival homeports will be announced in the coming weeks.

Oceania Elevates Small Ship Luxury Offering in Alaska for 2025
Oceania Cruises announced the recently re-inspired and better-than-new 1,250-guest Riviera will sail her first season in Alaska in summer 2025. Riviera will offer travelers the most inspiring way to explore some of the world's most breathtaking locales across America's largest state, putting immersion in local communities and culinary excellence at the heart of the travel experience.

Offering the largest standard staterooms at sea and home-away-from-home residential-style luxury, Riviera will venture into iconic Alaska ports of call including Ketchikan, Sitka, Kodiak, and the Hubbard Glacier, sailing itineraries ranging from seven to 12 days. Travelers will have even more opportunities to discover Alaska's natural wonders and unique local culture with nearly 300 excursion choices in Alaska and the brand's value promise simply MORE, which includes a generous shore excursion credit of up to $1,600, in addition to a number of other valuable inclusions – free roundtrip airfare; free airport transfers; free Champagne, wine and more; free gourmet specialty dining and free unlimited WiFi – for the best value in luxury cruising.

"The decision to elevate our presence in the Alaska region was easy," commented Frank A. Del Rio, President of Oceania Cruises. "This fascinating destination has always been a firm favorite with our well-traveled guests, who are constantly wanting to explore remote, wondrous and truly off-the-beaten-track destinations. Sailing on board Riviera is the ultimate way to explore this rugged state, while enjoying her distinctive residential luxury, The Finest Cuisine at Sea and expertly curated travel experiences."

Stunningly re-inspired in 2022, Riviera offers unparalleled experiences to curious world travelers. Her incredibly spacious standard staterooms measure an astonishing 291 square feet and all categories of staterooms have been beautifully reimagined with luxurious furnishings, thoughtful design touches and expanded showers. With 800 officers and crew for 1,250 guests, service levels are second to none and guests notice the welcoming ambiance at every turn.

Boasting one chef for every 10 guests, travelers can savor sumptuous dishes at seven open-seating gourmet restaurants as they marvel at Alaska's incredible scenery and seascapes. Whether you choose from an array of international and Continental dishes at The Grand Dining Room, the ultimate steakhouse experience at Polo Grill, bold Pan-Asian fare at Red Ginger, masterfully prepared Italian dishes at Toscana, embraceable French cuisine at Jacques, hallmark Chef's Market Dinners and ever-changing menus at Terrace Café or hand-tossed pizzas at the new alfresco pizzeria at Waves Grill, every meal aboard Riviera becomes a memorable culinary experience.

Ultimate Alaska: Experiences Ashore

Riviera's Alaska cruises bring breath-taking wildlife encounters, stunning views and so much more. From Hubbard Glacier – one of about 100,000 glaciers in Alaska – to Dutch Harbour, the town that technically doesn't exist, America's largest state always has a surprise around the corner.

In fact, many may not think of Alaska as a top culinary destination, but among the nearly 300 shore excursions on offer are Oceania Cruises' brand new series of Culinary Discovery Tours designed for Riviera's 2025 season, which spotlights Alaska's unique and thriving food scenes. Offered in Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka, the immersive chef-led tours take travelers on epicurean adventures ranging from craft beer flight tastings paired with dishes highlighting freshly foraged ingredients to visiting a sustainable oyster farm followed by a hands-on seafood-centric cooking class.

Additional explorations might find guests accompanying a Native Tlingit guide for an enlightening discovery of Ketchikan, observing local artisans and learning about tribal history at the only remaining village of the Chilkat people while in Haines, or venturing into Skagway's free-wheeling gold-rush past to explore local saloons, gravesites and a microbrewery.

Travelers can also discover the natural wonders of the awe-inspiring Tongass National Forest, the largest temperate rainforest in the world, famed for its astounding array of mountains, fjords and glaciers or experience the untouched, wildlife-rich surroundings of Klawock, a town of less than 1,000 residents located on the west coast of Prince of Wales Island. Guests can further enhance their Alaska journey with a multi-day Denali National Park experience on one of Oceania Cruises' pre- and post-cruise Alaska Land Programs.

49th State Wonders: Onboard Enrichment

The immersion into the wonders of Alaska continues on board. Each sailing features a naturalist on board who offers insightful bridge commentary in addition to a series of guest speaker-style talks that delves into Alaska's incredible biodiversity – covering everything from the unique whales, bears and seals guests may see to the fascinating plant life and local culture. For guests who travel with children, the Alaska Explorer Youth Program offers the opportunity for everyone to experience the excitement of exploring the Northwest Coast and Alaska in a meaningful, enriching way. Designed for children between 5 and 12 years of age, the program is supervised by experienced and enthusiastic youth counselors and includes engaging games, activities and Alaska-inspired special events.

Guests will also have the opportunity to learn the secrets behind much-loved Alaska and Pacific Northwest regional specialties if they wish – multiple hands-on cooking classes at Riviera's state-of-the-art Culinary Center will be offered during each sailing.

Incredible Itineraries

• Alaska Reflections: 8 days from Vancouver to Whittier cruising Hubbard Glacier and visiting Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point (Hoonah) and Sitka. Departs May 13, 2025.

• Explorer's Alaska: 8 days from Whittier to Vancouver cruising Hubbard Glacier and visiting Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Skagway, Sitka, Ketchikan and Prince Rupert. Departs May 21, 2025.

• Wilds of Alaska: 12 days from Vancouver to Whittier cruising Hubbard Glacier and visiting Klawock, Ketchikan, Wrangell, Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Haines, Juneau, Sitka, Kodiak and Homer. Departs May 29, 2025.

• Alaskan Accolades: 7 days from Whittier to Vancouver cruising Hubbard Glacier and visiting Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Haines, Juneau and Ketchikan. Departs June 10, 2025.

• Majestic Alaska: 9 days from Vancouver to Seattle cruising Holkham Bay Glacier Fjords and visiting Ketchikan, Juneau, Haines, Wrangell and Victoria. Departs June 17, 2025.

• Gems of The Last Frontier: 12 days from Seattle to Seattle cruising Hubbard Glacier and visiting Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Haines, Sitka, Wrangell, Klawock and Victoria. Departs June 26 and July 17, 2025.

• Wonders of Alaska: 9 days from Seattle to Seattle cruising Hubbard Glacier and visiting Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, and Victoria. Departs July 8 and September 9, 2025.

• Radiant Alaska: 10 days from Seattle to Seattle cruising Hubbard Glacier and visiting Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Sitka and Victoria. Departs July 29, 2025.

• Frontier Adventures: 10 days from Seattle to Seattle cruising Holkham Bay Glacier Fjords and visiting Ketchikan, Sitka, Haines, Juneau, Wrangell and Victoria. Departs August 8, 2025.

• Spirit of Alaska: 10 days from Seattle to Seattle cruising Holkham Bay Glacier Fjords and visiting Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Juneau, Skagway, Wrangell and Victoria. Departs August 18, 2025.

• Alaskan Horizons: 12 days from Seattle to Seattle cruising Hubbard Glacier and visiting Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Skagway, Juneau, Sitka, Wrangell, Klawock and Victoria. Departs August 28, 2025.

Riviera, Re-inspired

Riviera has had a sweeping rejuvenation with all suites and staterooms debuting reimagined, lavish residential comfort with custom furnishings, wood finishes and designer accents radiating Oceania Cruises' signature essence of elegance. Some notable highlights of the reimagined vessel include:

• Concierge Level Veranda Staterooms and Veranda Staterooms are the largest standard staterooms afloat at 291 square feet

• All Penthouse Suites and staterooms are beautifully redesigned, bringing a chic, warm and comforting sense of home with sleek restyled bathrooms and novel furnishings

• All stateroom bathrooms feature illustrious Italian marble, bespoke fabrics in suites and staterooms evoke the harmonious tones of painted deserts and tranquil skies, and each shimmers with the modernity of a Milanese townhouse

• Riviera's public spaces have all been elevated with plush new carpets and leather-covered armchairs

• All the convivial lounges and bars, and decadent dining venues have been elegantly restyled, elevating social and epicurean experiences while maintaining the home-away-from-home ambiance

• The Grand Dining Room reflects a renewed sense of grandeur that radiates from the glistening chandelier, plush carpets and butter-soft leather armchairs

• Dining alfresco has been completely revamped with a delightful new pizzeria and trattoria, featuring an array of hand-tossed pizzas, succulently grilled Italian specialties, spicy chicken wings, tantalizing salads and indulgent desserts every evening

Holland America Line Launches Global Fresh Fish Program
Holland America Line is taking its cuisine beyond the plate and further innovating its award-winning dining experience by launching a new, global fresh fish program. The pioneering initiative engages a global network of 60 ports to source and serve 80 types of fresh fish on board in all restaurants, going from port to plate in less than 48 hours.

After becoming the first cruise line to serve 100% fresh, certified sustainable Alaska seafood on board its ships in Alaska, Holland America Line is now taking fresh fish worldwide. Under the new program, the cruise line will offer guests fresh fish and ingredients native to various regions, yielding destination-inspired menus and local specialties that tell the story of each itinerary through cuisine.

“We know fresh fish is part of our guests’ daily lifestyle, and when they come on board, we are excited to expand their options beyond what they have access to at home,” said Gus Antorcha, president, Holland America Line. “The ability to source and prepare so many types of fish globally is a testament to our outstanding culinary team. From yellowtail snapper in the Caribbean to barramundi in Australia, the variety of fresh fish we offer is unrivaled in the cruise industry.”

The program also includes daily fresh fish specials and a planned expansion of the cruise line’s “Savor My Catch” excursion where guests can catch fish that is then prepared and served by chefs on board — all with engaging world-renowned Chef Masaharu Morimoto to serve as Holland America Line’s “Fresh Fish Ambassador.” Chef Morimoto brings his signature style to curated dishes served in the ships’ Dining Rooms this fall, as well as in a new pop-up restaurant available fleetwide by early 2024.

Morimoto’s dishes and all seafood dishes served across Holland America Line dining venues will be sourced and prepared as part of the global fresh fish program.

“Embarking on this type of culinary journey at sea is a first for me, and I am excited to bring my passion for fresh fish and fresh ingredients onto Holland America Line’s fleet,” said Chef Morimoto. “I chose to partner with Holland America Line because we share a commitment and passion for fresh and regionally inspired foods, and you will see that come to life in the special dishes and pop-up experience we’ve created together.”

Chef Morimoto’s creations are being crafted for the cruise line’s main Dining Room menus starting this week and will be available for a supplemental charge fleetwide by early October. Menu additions include “Fresh Black Cod Yuzu,” “Morimoto Epice Lobster Tails” and “Fresh Halibut XO.”

“We are thrilled to collaborate with Chef Morimoto, the foremost expert in this niche,” said Michael Stendebach, vice president of food and beverage at Holland America Line. “We share a commitment to serving the freshest ingredients, fish and seafood, in particular. We are excited to have his refined skills and celebrate his culinary style on board. Chef Morimoto brings his mastery and excellence to Holland America Line and is a great partner to bring this port-to-plate program to life.”

‘Morimoto by Sea’ Pop-Up to be Featured on Every Ship

Beginning in November, Holland America Line guests can indulge in a full Chef Morimoto experience with an exclusive pop-up restaurant: “Morimoto by Sea.” The restaurant and its menu of artfully presented dishes and beverages will take over Tamarind or Pinnacle Grill, depending on the ship, at least once per cruise. Offered to guests for a $55 per person cover charge, the experience will include a multi-course menu, along with vegetarian and vegan selections.

An evening at “Morimoto by Sea” is a multi-course dinner that celebrates the fresh fish program with inspired cuisine for a broad range of palates. “Morimoto by Sea” also showcases Chef Morimoto’s exclusive alcoholic beverages including Morimoto Brut Rosé and Sake Junmai Morimoto that complement his fresh dishes. The pop-up restaurant will be open fleetwide by early 2024.

Cunard Reveals First Glimpse of Queen Anne’s Elevated Wellness Offering
As Cunard Line nears the six-month countdown to the launch of its new ship, the vruise line has given an exclusive preview of Queen Anne’s elevated wellness offering.

The 113,000-ton, 3,000-guest ship is currently under construction at the Fincantieri Marghera shipyard in Venice, Italy and today (5 October) Cunard invited a group of global travel agent partners for its first behind-the-scenes tour.

Queen Anne will boast the widest selection of fitness, beauty, thermal and spa facilities so far seen on a Cunard ship, with its reimagined Mareel Wellness & Beauty proposition heralding a new era of wellbeing at sea.

Cunard’s Mareel concept aims to deliver enriching wellness experiences that leave guests feeling radiant, from the inside out, just as its namesake – a glowing luminescence – lights the sea from within. Queen Anne’s Wellness Club will also boast a tailormade program for solo travelers, where, on embarkation night, like-minded guests will be able to relax and unwind together at a meet-and-greet.

As these pictures show, the vision of a tranquil sanctuary is coming to life, and it is here where guests will enjoy a variety of uniquely crafted experiences – from cryotherapy treatments to a Himalayan salt sauna and cold room – that will renew the mind, body, and soul.

One of Queen Anne’s stand-out wellness spaces is The Pavilion, an idyllic open-air oasis on the top deck, which features a specially designed glass dome roof that retracts in warmer climes. Inspired by beautiful glasshouses, it is the ideal spot for getting lost in a book or enjoying a dip in the pool by day and for meeting new friends in the evening.

The multi-purpose space, designed by David Collins Studio (of Harrods and Claridge’s fame), weaves together several wellness elements, and will encompass the top deck Wellness Studio – an ideal retreat for fitness fanatics, open from sunrise to sunset – as well as the Wellness Café, an alternative dining experience that will boast a colorful mix of seasonal, mouth-watering, and nutritious dishes.

The Wellness Café will cater for breakfast, lunch, and daytime diners, celebrating the vibrancy of plant-powered foods and sustainably sourced meat, dairy and fish options.

Acclaimed architect Martin Francis – who supported with engineering the iconic Louvre Pyramid in Paris – led a redesigning of the glass dome, which will now feature a refined arched steel frame to maximize height and light in the space as it stretches up and aft to create the new Wellness Studio.

At the shipyard

The tour was hosted by Captain Inger Thorhauge, the luxury cruise line’s first female Captain, who will be at the helm for Queen Anne’s maiden voyage from Southampton to Lisbon on 3 May 2024.

The event in Venice follows Queen Anne’s float out ceremony in May, a tradition where a ‘Madrina’ is named to offer blessings and best wishes for the ship, celebrating the first flow of water into the ship's dry dock.

The ship has since been moved from a construction dock to a fitting out basin nearby, and as these photos illustrate, the fitting out phase is in full swing.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 12.69 - 6.96%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 88.23 - 3.78%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 16.65 + 1.28%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which current cruise line established its own training school for on board crew in Bintang, Indonesia in 1969?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former cargo liner built in 1958 ended her career as a land-locked hotel in Kuwait City, Kuwait?

Answer - Grace Line's Santa Paula of 1958 ended her career as a land-locked hotel at Kuwait City. She was originally built for Grace Line's New York to Central America service and carried 300 passengers, all first class. courtesy of Brian O'Leary, Montreal, Canada


Cruise News - October 2, 2023

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces 1,000 Dedicated Solo Staterooms
Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that it is set to introduce nearly 1,000 dedicated solo staterooms across its diverse 19-ship fleet.

Beginning this week and on a rolling basis, the Company will open for sale for the first time ever three new solo stateroom categories, including Solo Inside, Solo Oceanview and Solo Balcony for future sailings starting Jan. 2, 2024. With pricing and availability dependent on the destination and demand, solo travelers can expect to pay less than a traditional double occupancy room.

“We strive to provide our guests with diverse offerings to create their dream vacation,” said David J. Herrera, president of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Since we first launched our solo staterooms in 2010 with Norwegian Epic, they have been quite popular with single travelers. We are continuously listening to our guests to deliver the experience they want. After realizing the growing demand of individuals looking to travel on their own, we have now expanded single occupancy staterooms across our fleet.”

Guests who stay in the new solo stateroom categories will also have access to the key card entry only Studio Lounge, available on select ships, which features a dedicated space to relax, a bar equipped with beer and wine and a variety of snacks served daily. In addition to their own lounge, solo cruisers can enjoy activities scheduled for single travelers to mix and mingle. With the capacity of solo stateroom categories expanding from nine ships to the full 19-ship fleet, single cruisers have more opportunities to visit bucket-list worthy destinations such as Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand on vessels which historically have not had this unique offering.

This announcement comes in response to a recent surge in the popularity of solo travel within the tourism industry, with a growing number of individuals choosing to travel the world solo, rather than traditional group travel with friends, family or partners. According to a study by Travelport, solo travel made up nearly 18% of global bookings in the travel industry. More recently in solo travel statistics, Radical Storage reported a 267% increase in online searches for the term “solo travel” between December 2020 to April 2022. Lastly, from 2019 to 2022, Norwegian saw an increase in guests booking accommodations as a single occupant in non-studio staterooms.

Celebrity Ascent Completes Sea Trials With Brother Captains at the Helm
Celebrity Cruises’ announced today that its newest ship, Celebrity Ascent, lived up to its name, reaching the pinnacle of its construction milestones with the successful completion of its first open ocean sailing. During the traditional shipbuilding process known as sea trials, Celebrity Ascent completed a series of maneuverability skills designed to test the ship’s functional and operational capabilities, which she passed with flying colors.

The ship’s brother captains, Demetrios and Tasos Kafetzis, were at the helm to oversee the intricate tests conducted in the Bay of Biscay near the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France where Celebrity Ascent has been under construction. In addition, nearly 200 crew members were onboard to test the ship’s equipment from bow to stern.

Celebrity Ascent offers guests all the design features and onboard amenities that travelers love on the first three Edge Series ships, Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Apex, and Celebrity Beyond, and then raises the bar with newly designed restaurants and culinary experiences, reimagined entertainment venues, and more.

Sailing from Ft. Lauderdale’s Port Everglades, Celebrity Ascent offers a special 4-Night Western Caribbean preview voyage on Nov. 22, 2023, followed by another special 3-Night Bahamas preview getaway on Nov. 26, 2023. A celebratory 7-Night Eastern Caribbean Maiden Voyage departs the South Florida port on December 3, 2023, kicking off the ship’s inaugural Caribbean season featuring 7-night itineraries rotating between such popular Eastern and Western Caribbean destinations as the Bahamas, Mexico and Grand Cayman; and San Juan, Tortola and St. Kitts, respectively. Then, Celebrity Ascent heads to the Mediterranean for a spectacular 2024 summer season of sailings including a 9-Night Italian Riviera and France itinerary; and the 12-Night Best of Greece and Italy itinerary.

Holland America Line Successfully Installs SpaceX's Starlink Internet Aboard More Than Half Its Fleet
Holland America Line is more than halfway through updating internet to SpaceX's Starlink across its fleet of 11 ships. The first ship to receive this next-generation technology was Koningsdam, and now Oosterdam, Volendam, Westerdam, Zaandam and Zuiderdam all have the high-speed internet on board.

Starlink is the leader in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology providing high-speed internet around the world. Since receiving Starlink internet, the ships have sailed through Alaska, the Mediterranean and Canada with positive guest and team member feedback on the performance of the Wi-Fi.

"Our goal is to continue keeping all guests connected to the internet to share their memorable experiences, and to allow our team members to stay in touch with their loved ones back home," said Kathleen Erickson, vice president of technology for Holland America Line. "It's important we stay up to date with evolving technology to ensure the best experience for everyone stepping foot on our ships."

Adding Starlink to Holland America Line's fleet brings faster internet to guests and team members in all weather conditions and locations. The upgrade has made it easier to stay connected to friends and family around the globe and allows professional communications for guests who can't leave the office behind.

Holland America Line is scheduled to have Starlink internet installed on the remaining five ships in the fleet by mid-December 2023.

Carnival Corporation Reports All-time Record Revenue and Strong Third Quarter 2023 Earnings
Carnival Corporation & plc reports third quarter 2023 earnings and provides an outlook for the full year and fourth quarter 2023.

"We delivered over $1 billion to the bottom line with revenue reaching an all-time high" commented Carnival Corporation & plc's Chief Executive Officer Josh Weinstein. "Both revenue and earnings significantly exceeded expectations this quarter enabling us to take up expectations for the year."

Weinstein continued, "The outperformance was driven by strength in demand, with both our North America and Australia segment and Europe segment equally outperforming expectations. It is gratifying to see the power of our portfolio deliver, as our continental European brands have stepped up nicely. Our demand generation efforts are working across all regions, as we have consistently been achieving quarterly net per diems well in excess of 2019 levels, while closing the occupancy gap by 11 points over the course of the year."

Weinstein added, "I continue to be encouraged with our revenue trajectory heading into next year as we see no signs of slowing from our consumers."

Third Quarter 2023 Results

• For the first time since the resumption of guest cruise operations, U.S. GAAP net income turned positive, generating $1.07 billion, or $0.79 diluted EPS, marking a significant milestone. Adjusted net income of $1.18 billion, or $0.86 adjusted EPS, exceeded the June guidance range of $0.95 billion to $1.05 billion.

• Adjusted EBITDA of $2.22 billion also exceeded the June guidance range of $2.05 billion to $2.15 billion.

• Third quarter revenues hit an all-time high of $6.9 billion.

• While gross margin yields were down compared to 2019, net yields (in constant currency) exceeded strong 2019 levels (see "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below).

• Occupancy in the third quarter of 2023 was 109 percent, better than the company's expectations and a return to historical levels.

• Gross margin per diems were down compared to 2019. Net per diems (in constant currency) exceeded 2019 levels, overcoming headwinds from the removal of St. Petersburg, Russia as a marquee destination and were approximately one percentage point above the midpoint of the June guidance range (see "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below).

• Cruise costs per ALBD increased 8.9 percent as compared to the third quarter of 2019. Adjusted cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD (in constant currency) increased 15 percent compared to the third quarter of 2019, in line with June guidance (see "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below).

Total customer deposits reached a third quarter record of $6.3 billion, surpassing the previous third quarter record of $4.9 billion (as of August 31, 2019), by 28 percent. Bookings

Booking volumes during the third quarter continued at significantly elevated levels, setting a new third quarter record for total bookings during the quarter. Weinstein noted, "We are maintaining strong momentum and continuing to build demand through our improved commercial execution. Booking volumes during the quarter were running nearly 20 percent above 2019 levels and multiples of our capacity growth, which has continued into September. This has helped us extend the booking curve even further, with our North American brands exceeding historical highs and our European brands essentially achieving pre-pause levels."

The cumulative advanced booked position for full year 2024 is well above the high end of the historical range at higher prices (in constant currency) than 2023 levels. This aligns with the company's yield management strategy to base load bookings, lengthen the booking curve and optimize net yields. Weinstein added, "Our booked position for 2024 is further out than we have ever seen and at strong prices. With less remaining inventory to sell, despite a five percent increase in capacity, we are well positioned to drive pricing higher and deliver strong yield improvement in 2024."

2023 Outlook

For the full year 2023, the company expects:

• Adjusted EBITDA of $4.1 billion to $4.2 billion, within the June guidance range, despite the $125 million net unfavorable impact from fuel price and currency from June guidance Occupancy of 100 percent or higher

• Net per diems (in constant currency) up approximately 7.0 percent compared to 2019, one percentage point higher than the midpoint of June guidance, based on the continued strength in close-in demand

• Adjusted cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD (in constant currency) at the high end of June guidance range

• Fuel consumption per ALBD to be nearly 16 percent lower than 2019, better than previously expected

For the fourth quarter of 2023, the company expects:

• Adjusted EBITDA of $800 million to $900 million

• Net yields (in constant currency) up mid-single digits compared to 2019 with occupancy in line with historical levels and net per diems (in constant currency) up 7.0% to 8.0% compared to 2019

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection Celebrates Float Out of Second Yacht, Ilma
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection marked a significant construction milestone with the successful float out of its next superyacht, Ilma, at Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. This traditional maritime celebration brought together senior leadership and shipbuilders in anticipation of Ilma touching water for the first time, signifying the commencement of its next phase of construction in preparation for its maiden voyage in 2024.

The float out event was attended by company leadership from The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection including Jim Murren, Executive Chairman and CEO, and Ernesto Fara, President and CFO. Also present were representatives from Chantiers de l'Atlantique, including Laurent Castaing, General Manager, and Arnaud Le Joncour, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

As part of the float out, the yacht's dry dock was filled with water overnight, then moved to an outfitting dock where it will remain for the rest of its build leading to sea trials in April and start of its first season. Now afloat, final-stage construction will focus on completing interiors, fixtures, and fittings for suites, restaurants, and other public spaces that will welcome guests to experience a new journey of discovery at sea in just less than a year.

"As we celebrate this remarkable milestone, we are immensely proud of the dedication and craftsmanship by all those involved in the construction of Ilma," remarked Jim Murren. "We are thrilled to have partnered with the team at Chantiers de l'Atlantique and are excited to enter the next stage of construction and outfitting in anticipation of the yacht's inaugural journey next year, expanding our fleet and vision within the ultra-luxury space."

Ilma, meaning "water" in Maltese, will be the second newbuild superyacht from The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. Measuring 790-feet, the yacht will feature 224 airy, light-filled suites, all with private terraces, and will accommodate up to 448 passengers. Paving the way for a new era of cruising, this brand extension introduces an entirely unique experience at sea, illustrating the ongoing commitment to innovative luxury travel experiences from The Ritz-Carlton. Ilma will offer expansive public spaces and will have one of the highest space ratios at sea, ensuring an exceptional journey.

The onboard experience will reflect the unparalleled lifestyle and legendary service for which The Ritz-Carlton brand is recognized, including state-of-the-art technology, five distinct dining venues, and a Ritz-Carlton Spa. Delivering thoughtfully curated itineraries and unforgettable journeys for guests, Ilma will join the company's first yacht Evrima in visiting the most coveted destinations in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, with select ports of call in Central America and South America, depending on the season.

The yacht's sleek and graceful exterior design, expertly crafted by Helsinki-based design studio Aivan, draws inspiration from the elegant aesthetics of private yacht design. Interiors will seamlessly blend warmth and sophistication with a relaxed atmosphere, showcasing modern craftsmanship and interior finishes imagined by AD Associates, a renowned London-based architectural and design firm, and award-winning lighting designer, DPA.

"We are thrilled to witness Ilma's float out. Ilma embodies Chantiers de l'Atlantique's dedication to ultra-luxury," expressed Arnaud Le Joncour. "This milestone marks the beginning of the next construction phase of outfitting. Drawing inspiration from Ilma's elegance, clean lines, and unique features, our teams are united in the pursuit of meeting the expectations of today's most discerning luxury travelers."

Carnival Cruise Line Opens Itineraries Featuring Celebration Key
Carnival Cruise Line opened for sale approximately 400 cruises that will bring guests to Celebration Key, its new exclusive cruise port destination in The Bahamas, beginning with the first calls in July 2025. Starting today, guests can book cruises on the first 12 Carnival ships, sailing regularly from eight homeports, visiting Celebration Key in 2025 and 2026.

"As the first port destination exclusively designed for Carnival Cruise Line guests, Celebration Key will provide the ultimate Carnival fun in the sun, immersed in the natural beauty of Grand Bahama. Our guests have a wide range of ships, homeports and itineraries that visit our new exclusive destination to choose from," said Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy. "And we've seen that there is a lot of interest in Celebration Key as thousands of Carnival guests signed up over the last week to be the first to know about the itineraries and features. The July 2025 opening will be here before we know it, and we are working closely with the Bahamian Government and the local Grand Bahama community to make this the premier exclusive cruise port destination in the Caribbean. We plan to announce further details on what guests can expect to experience while there in the near future."

Located on the south side of Grand Bahama Island, Celebration Key will offer a variety of fun, relaxation and adventure options for everyone. Promising guests a key to paradise no matter how they define it, there will be endless ways to enjoy the destination, whether the pristine white sands of the mile-long beach, authentic Bahamian shopping and dining, or excursions to explore the beautiful island of Grand Bahama. The destination's features and offerings will be anchored around the largest freshwater lagoons in the Caribbean that will offer numerous recreational and leisure activities for both families and adults. Carnival ships will dock at an adjacent cruise pier that can accommodate up to two of Carnival's Excel-class vessels simultaneously and will allow guests direct access to Celebration Key.

"This is so exciting for the people of Grand Bahama as we watch Celebration Key come to life. We have a bold vision of how Grand Bahama can become the premier destination for entertainment and events in the region and we look forward to showing Carnival's guests a warm and memorable vacation when they start visiting our beautiful island in 2025," added the Hon. Ginger Moxie, Minister for Grand Bahama.

The 12 Carnival ships, sailing regularly from eight homeports, that will visit Celebration Key are:

From PortMiami: Carnival Celebration and Carnival Conquest

• Carnival Celebration will sail seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from July 20, 2025.

• Carnival Conquest will sail three- and four-day Bahamas sailings beginning July 18, 2025.

From Port Canaveral: Mardi Gras, Carnival Freedom and Carnival Glory

• Mardi Gras will sail seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from July 19, 2025; as well as one nine-day Eastern Caribbean sailing on October 30, 2025. In addition, Mardi Gras will sail two 14-day Transatlantic voyages: the first from Port Canaveral to Barcelona on Sept. 13, 2025 and the second from Barcelona to Port Canaveral on Oct. 16, 2025.

• Carnival Freedom will sail four- and five- day Bahamas sailings beginning July 19, 2025.

• Carnival Glory will sail three- and four-day Bahamas sailings from July 21, 2025.

From Galveston: Carnival Dream and Carnival Legend

• Carnival Dream will offer eight-day Eastern Caribbean sailings from July 26, 2025.

• Carnival Legend will feature Celebration Key on several 10-day Exotic Eastern Caribbean cruises.

From New Orleans: Carnival Liberty

• Carnival Liberty will sail seven- and eight-day Eastern Caribbean voyages from July 20, 2025.

From Baltimore: Carnival Pride

• Carnival Pride will set sail on seven-day Bahamas sailings from July 20, 2025, along with a 14-day Carnival Journeys Panama Canal cruise on Jan. 11, 2026.

From Jacksonville: Carnival Elation

• From July 21, 2025, Carnival Elation will offer four- and five-day Bahamas cruises.

From Norfolk, Va.: Carnival Sunshine

• Carnival Sunshine will sail six- and eight-day Bahamas cruises from October 18, 2025.

From Mobile, Ala.: Carnival Spirit

• Carnival Spirit will offer six- and eight-day Bahamas cruises beginning Nov. 2, 2025.

Princess Cruises Introduces Expansive Vegan Menus
Princess Cruises, renowned for its commitment to culinary excellence and world-class hospitality, has embarked on a new culinary journey to meet the evolving tastes and dietary needs of its guests. In response to a surging demand for plant-based cuisine, Princess Cruises is introducing a series of creatively crafted vegan menus, enhancing the dining experience for all onboard. The new menus, available in the main dining rooms, are currently rolling out across the fleet of 15 ships.

These menus exemplify the fusion of gourmet creativity and eco-consciousness, ensuring that every guest's dietary preferences are not only met, but celebrated. Prepared without the use of any animal products, the new vegan menus offer an array of starters, salads, soups, pastas and main dishes. With nightly menus served in the main dining rooms, guests can request the vegan options prior to their cruise—via the Cruise Personalizer, through their travel agent or by calling Princess—or once onboard.

"Our dedication to delivering unforgettable culinary experiences continues to evolve with current trends, including the desire for more vegan offerings," said Sami Kohen, Princess Cruises Vice President of Food and Beverage. "Our new plant-based dinner menus offer our vegan guests an extraordinary culinary journey while providing reassurance and peace of mind with dishes they know meet their lifestyle preferences."

The Princess Cruises vegan menus feature a robust offering of flavorful items including:

Starters

• Black Beans on Toast with Tomato and Avocado

• Roasted Pears with Dried Apricots and Pistachios

• Baja-Style Cauliflower Tacos

Salads

• French Potato Salad with Dijon Mustard and Fine Herbs

• Green Goddess Salad with Tofu

• Endive, Beet and Pear Slaw

Soups

• Creamy White Bean

• Chickpea Noodle

• Roasted Eggplant and Tomato

Pastas

• Fettuccine with Walnut Sauce

• Penne with Red Pepper Pesto

• Farfalle and Summer Squash with Tomatoes, Basil and Pine Nuts

Mains

• Stir-Fried Portobellos with Soy-Maple Sauce

• Plant-Based Shepherd's Pie

• Walkaway Ratatouille

Whether guests choose to embrace a plant-based lifestyle or simply wish to explore the delights of these vegan menus, the Princess commitment to culinary excellence ensures that every guest finds an exceptional dining experience.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 13.64 - 1.87%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 91.70 + 0.80%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 16.44 + 8.30%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former cargo liner built in 1958 ended her career as a land-locked hotel in Kuwait City, Kuwait?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What year did Carnival Cruise Lines begin operations and what was the name of their first cruise ship? Bonus: what was the original name of this ship and which line did she sail for?

Answer - Carnival's first cruise ship was the former Canadian Pacific liner EMPRESS OF CANADA which they renamed MARDI GRAS IN 1972. courtesy of Richard MacGregory


Cruise News - September 25, 2023

Azamara Unveils 2026 World Cruise
Azamara unveiled its 2026 World Cruise this week, a majestic journey setting sail from Miami, Florida on January 6, 2026. This grand expedition, concluding in the vibrant city of Barcelona, Spain, is a golden ticket to explore over 35 countries and experience the enchanting allure of the Seven Wonders of the World. Azamara Onward's world cruise is designed to grant guests an extended exploration with 55 late nights and overnights, 60 Extended Destination Days, 3 exclusive World Cruise events and 10 AzAmazing events, allowing for a deeper connection with each mesmerizing wonder and the diverse tapestry of cultures that surround them.

"We are thrilled to welcome our world cruisers on this journey of a lifetime," said Carol Cabezas, President of Azamara. "Our 2026 World Cruise offers our guests the unique opportunity to uncover a new perspective on a wide variety of cultures and visit all seven wonders of the world, while enjoying some of the most exclusive and specially curated events throughout this exciting itinerary."

Highlighted shore excursions and overnight experiences introducing guests to the Seven Wonders include:

• Chichen Itza: Wander through ancient realms, where the whispers of the great pyramid of Kulkulcan and the preserved Mayan ballpark intertwine with the enchanting tales of the Temple of Venus and the Temple of Warriors, all brought to life with the magic of virtual- and augmented-reality technology.

• Christ the Redeemer: Experience the iconic Christ the Redeemer within a grand multi-day exploration, unveiling Rio's architectural gems, the panoramic splendors of Sugar Loaf Mountain, the captivating beauty of Iguazu Falls, and the ancient mysteries of Easter Island's statues. Each moment is immersed in luxury and flavored with the diverse and spirited essence of these legendary locales, weaving a tapestry of unforgettable, enriching experiences.

• Taj Mahal: Discover the timeless Taj Mahal, a symbol of love, bathed in the changing hues of dawn. This multi-day journey unveils the majestic Agra Fort and enchanting "Baby Taj," immersing you in vibrant cultures, diverse flavors of Indian cuisine, and the luxury of The Oberoi hotels.

• Machu Picchu: Explore the enigmatic beauty of Machu Picchu and the ancient wonders of Cusco, including the colossal Sacsayhuaman Fortress, a symbol of Inca ingenuity. Enjoy the luxury of Palacio del Inca and exquisite Peruvian cuisine as you traverse breathtaking landscapes and discover revered sites like Qoricancha and the majestic Cathedral, rich with history and culture.

• Colosseum: Experience the iconic Colosseum through the eyes of a gladiator with exclusive access, surrounded by ancient bleachers, where echoes of the past resonate. Explore this architectural marvel and the remnants of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, steeped in history, before indulging in a delightful Italian lunch, completing this immersive journey into Rome's illustrious past.

• The Great Wall of China: Travelers will have the chance to fly to Beijing for three nights to explore the Forbidden City with an expert guide and visit the Great Wall to take in one of the world's greatest wonders of architectural history. Guests can also ride the cable car to explore the Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace before heading to Hong Kong for three nights.

• Petra: Guests can journey to the desert city of Petra in Jordan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and once a mysterious city isolated in a forbidden valley, to hike through the 'Siq' and discover the Rose Red City. Travelers will have the unique opportunity to view and learn more about the Treasury, the Greek Theatre, ancient Royal Tombs, Colonnaded Street, and the Temple of Qasr Al-Bint.

World Cruisers will have access to a destination-concierge, and pre-cruise dedicated call center specialists as they plan their journey on Azamara. In addition to checking off countless bucket list travel destinations and experiences, Azamara's 2026 World Cruise offers over $22,000* in exclusive amenities, including 13 exclusive world voyage special events, $3,000 in onboard credit, an additional $4,000 onboard credit for shore excursions, airfare credit*, pre- and post-cruise transfers, a one-night pre-cruise hotel stay, a premium beverage package upgrade, weekly laundry service, WiFi service and more. World cruisers will also enjoy the amenities that are always included with Always Azamara: five dining options, beverages including alcohol 24/7, tips and gratuities, cultural events, and unlimited self-service laundry

Four Seasons Yachts Redefines Luxury at Sea
Four Seasons, together with luxury yachting company Marc-Henry Cruise Holdings Ltd. and venerated Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, continues to build momentum towards the inaugural journey of Four Seasons Yachts. The venture brings together an unparalleled group of partners: Nadim Ashi and Philip Levine, entrepreneurs and bold visionaries of this distinctive yacht experience, paired with Four Seasons luxury hospitality leadership.

"Four Seasons Yachts represents a key pillar of our future growth and strategic vision, as we look to capitalize on new opportunities and build brand differentiation through immersive luxury experiences," says Alejandro Reynal, President and CEO, Four Seasons. "The inaugural Yacht is a manifestation of this vision, offering a world-class Four Seasons experience, at sea and on land, marked by the genuine, personalized service that our guests know and love."

Setting sail in late 2025, the vessel will be the first in the Four Seasons Yachts fleet. With a signed contract for the construction of the second Four Seasons vessel with Fincantieri to be delivered in late November 2026, this second vessel's order is worth more than EUR 400 million.

Larry Pimentel, President and CEO, Marc-Henry Cruise Holdings Ltd., Joint Owner and Operator, Four Seasons Yachts, and responsible for leading the enterprise, says, "When we launched Four Seasons Yachts in Monaco this time last year, we were humbled by the tremendous response and excitement about the offering, which sparked unprecedented interest in this stunning project."

Ultra-Luxe Design Innovations

The first Four Seasons Yacht features 95 suites with remarkable custom design, focused on removing barriers between guests, the sea, and their surroundings. To enjoy outdoor yachting moments, each suite features extensive terrace decks ranging from 100 square feet (9.3 square metres) for the deluxe suite, to nearly 5,000 square feet (457 square metres) for the Funnel Suite, which will be the Yacht's most expansive accommodation. With an all-suite, residential style product, the Yacht will set a new standard for privacy and guest-centric layout. From the vessel's waterline to the top deck, the unequalled sea-to-sky design features will offer standout and unparalleled Four Seasons experiences.

The Funnel Suite will be an astonishing four levels, offering more than 9,500 square feet (898 square metres) of combined indoor/outdoor living space, including a private wading pool and dedicated private spa area, creating a sea-view home away from home.

This immense suite can be further expanded with vertical and horizontal connectivity, allowing guests to have one of the largest continuously connected living spaces at sea. The Funnel Suite's iconic floor-to-ceiling wraparound curved glass window modules, made up of the largest contiguous piece of glass at sea, will offer stunning 280-degree panoramic views. With the glass of the Funnel Suite costing a total of USD 4.5 million, this one-of-a-kind engineering innovation is nothing short of remarkable, from its steel web frame support structure to its double glass thermal performance.

Another design first is the Yacht's bespoke onboard transverse marina, allowing guests easy access to a world of water sports adventure filled with state-of-the-art water toys in ports that are traditionally exclusive to privately-owned yachts. Pushing the boundaries of creativity and craftsmanship, the cutting-edge marina design features expansive openings across the vessel from port to starboard, offering large platforms and tiered lounging decks on both sides to maximize light and sea views while fostering visual and physical links - creating yacht moments with the magnificence of the sea.

Outdoors, water sports enthusiasts will enjoy private and exclusive sailing, snorkelling and wind surfing. Inside, an elegant lounge area outfitted with a stylish bar and dedicated al fresco seating areas reveals panoramic ocean views. Rentable custom crafted sea limousines designed for transfers and coastal grand touring along with a pair of beach landers are also part of the ship's signature marina experience, accessible in most anchor ports. What's more, a dedicated marina team ensures that guests receive the impeccable service they have come to expect from Four Seasons.

For those wanting to enjoy the sun from the pool deck, the canoe-aft deck will boast a 20-metre (66 foot) pool, one of the largest at sea. It will serve as the bustling centre of the vessel and a gathering place for guests who share an affinity for the refined, leisurely pace of yachting. The salt-water pool is designed so that it can be quickly emptied, the floor raised and converted into a multi-function area for performances, fashion shows, and weddings to name a few programming options. This hydraulic lift design borrows inspiration from the classic Christina O yacht, which also had many famous-first features.

Unveiling Four Seasons Yachts to Global Travellers

Driven by the need to manage extraordinary demand with scarcity of inaugural inventory, priority access to reserve Yacht voyages is being distributed by invitation-only, beginning with loyal Four Seasons guests and valued travel partners. Equally as important, this distribution approach acknowledges and cares for Four Seasons patrons and their qualified luxury travel advisors in a manner deserving of their loyalty and commitment to the brand.

A dedicated private client service division has been created with an elite team of personal yacht consultants, committed to delivering on the personalized service and genuine heart that Four Seasons is known for. With high-touch and high-tech tools, they will manage by-appointment demand starting with priority access options for the inaugural season. For those luxury travel enthusiasts who are interested in Four Seasons Yachts, a waitlist will also be available online at www.fourseasonsyachts.com.

Exploring the Yacht Playgrounds of the Caribbean and Mediterranean

The 2025/26 inaugural season ushers in the start of extraordinary yachting itineraries offered throughout winter and spring in the Caribbean. The Yacht will then return to the Mediterranean to cruise iconic yachting locales, from the French and Italian Rivieras to the Adriatic coastline and Greek Isles. The average journey will be seven days, affording back-to-back voyages of 21 days with distinct daily deployments. The first year's planning represents 33 countries, 137 unique destinations, and 76 late night evenings and/or overnights. Unique Four Seasons pre-and-post hotel and overland programs are in development and will be unveiled soon.

Oceania Cruises Announces Seven New 2025 Summer Sailings to French Polynesia and Hawaii
Oceania Cruises has announced seven new exotic summer sailings to French Polynesia and Hawaii on board the 670-guest boutique hotel-style Regatta in 2025, which will open for reservations on October 4, 2023. Sailing with Oceania Cruises is the ultimate way to visit these stunning destinations that offer a utopia of cultural encounters, memorable adventures and pristine natural surroundings.

The new cruises will visit French Polynesia and Hawaii during the ideal months of August, September and October when the regions boast abundant sunshine, pleasant, balmy temperatures and lower humidity. Itineraries span the gorgeous blue lagoon of Bora Bora, the black sand beaches of Tahiti, the colorful coral reefs of Raiatea, the soaring mountains in the verdant jungles of Nuku Hiva and more. Four of the seven new sailings link French Polynesia with the captivating craters, dramatic canyons and lush waterfalls of the Hawaiian archipelago. With Oceania Cruises, you can experience the paradise of these islands firsthand on immersive itineraries, discovering the traditions of native Polynesian culture, tasting the fresh flavors of the local cuisine and exploring the local communities and surrounding natural wonders.

"At Oceania Cruises, we offer a captivating array of sailings in French Polynesia and Hawaii, charting lesser-known coastlines and taking travelers to boutique ports and off-the-beaten-track islands thanks to our small, luxurious ships," commented Frank A. Del Rio, President of Oceania Cruises. "One of the highlights of these parts of the world is undoubtedly the food. Whether you're exploring Bora Bora and Nuku Hiva or Nawiliwili and Hilo, the flavors of these islands are meant to be savored and enjoyed just as much as the spectacular scenery."

Sailing from Tahiti or Honolulu, the seven new voyages range from 10 to 18 days, allowing plenty of time for exploration, adventure and relaxation in these stunning regions of the world. While Tahiti may feel worlds away, the gateway of Papeete is readily accessible by flight from New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London and Sydney with convenient 8-hour non-stop flights from Los Angeles and 5-hour non-stop flights out of Auckland. Similarly, Honolulu is just a 6-hour direct flight away from Los Angeles and an 8 ½-hour direct flight from Auckland. In addition to the seven new sailings aboard Regatta in 2025, there are dozens of other destination-rich itineraries to choose from in the South Pacific, as well as Australia and New Zealand, in 2024 and 2025 with Oceania Cruises.

NEW SUMMER SAILINGS IN 2025

Polynesian Dreams: 15 days from Honolulu to Papeete aboard Regatta, visiting Honolulu, Nawiliwili, Lahaina, Kailua-Kona, Hilo, Nuku Hiva, Rangiroa, Raiatea, Bora Bora and Papeete. Departs August 1 and September 15, 2025, which offers the itinerary in reverse.

Tahitian Legends: 10 days from Papeete to Papeete aboard Regatta, visiting Papeete, Moorea, Fakarava, Nuku Hiva, Rangiroa, Bora Bora and Raiatea. Departs August 16 and 26, and September 5, 2025.

Divine Pacific Oases: 15 days from Honolulu to Papeete aboard Regatta, visiting Honolulu, Nawiliwili, Kahului, Kailua-Kona, Hilo, Nuku Hiva, Rangiroa, Raiatea, Bora Bora and Papeete. Departs September 30, 2025.

Song of Polynesia: 18 days from Papeete to Los Angeles aboard Regatta, visiting Papeete, Moorea, Rangiroa, Nuku Hiva, Hilo, Lahaina, Honolulu, Nawiliwili and Los Angeles. Departs October 15, 2025.

REGATTA SHIPBOARD HIGHLIGHTS

Carrying just 670 guests, Regatta provides a boutique experience for travelers to explore the region, with itineraries designed to offer a unique flavor of the South Pacific. Guests will experience the ultimate in small ship luxury, with just 340 lavish suites and luxurious staterooms, nearly 70% of which feature private verandas. Lose yourself in one of the hundreds of books in the top-of-ship library, relax and rejuvenate in the Aquamar Spa + Vitality Center or socialize with old and new friends in one of the eight lounges and bars on board. After dinner in one of the four gourmet, open-seating restaurants, take in a show or spend the evening in the casino.

EAT YOUR WAY THROUGH FRENCH POLYNESIA & HAWAII

One of the best ways to delve into the local island culture is through food, and both French Polynesia and Hawaii serve up some mouth-watering specialties, exotic dishes and delicious delicacies.

Try poisson cru: French Polynesia's version of ceviche, this dish features local raw fish marinated in coconut milk and lime juice, often with vegetables. You'll have plenty of chances to try it on a variety of excursions, and you'll regularly see it on local menus.

The mahi mahi burger and a mai tai at Bloody Mary's in Bora Bora are not to be missed. The thatched-roof restaurant with sand floors has served well-known faces including Jimmy Buffet, Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones and movie star couple Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell – it's an experience to remember.

Don't pass on the breadfruit: Called uru in Tahitian, this strangely versatile starch will appear on the table prepared in more ways than you can keep track of and is quintessentially French Polynesian. A staple form on Nuku Hiva involves roasting it over hot coals and then mashing it with coconut milk to create a dish called kaka.

You can't visit Hawaii without trying traditional poke, a raw fish bowl favored for its simplicity and freshness. Though all sorts of variations have become popular the world over, try ahi poke or tako poke – octopus – in its birthplace for a true taste of the classic dish.

A must-have at luaus, kalua pork is another Hawaiian favorite you'll find across the islands. The traditional method of slow roasting the pork in an imu, or underground pit, and seasoning it with local sea salt results in a succulent, smoky meat typically paired with rice and sauteed cabbage or coleslaw.

DESTINATION HIGHLIGHTS

Bora Bora, French Polynesia, one of the most photogenic islands, is dominated by two peaks – Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia – both more than 2,000 feet high. Covered in emerald greenery, they create a dramatic backdrop for Bora Bora's shimmering lagoon, renowned for its breathtaking turquoise water. Under the sea, the reef encircling the island is a haven for a rainbow of exotic fish and turtles. Explore Bora Bora's dazzling lagoon, go on a guided off-road adventure across the island or see sharks and stingrays from the comfort of a glass-bottom boat.

Papeete, Tahiti, is the capital of French Polynesia, with clear blue waters, swaying palm trees, balmy weather and rich island culture. Enjoy a wide variety of restaurants and the best shopping in the region – be sure to look out for exquisite hand-carved wooden figurines and bowls as well as colorful patchwork textiles called tifaifai, appliqued quilts that are often handed down for generations. Feeling energetic? Then be sure to hike inland a couple of miles to Fautaua Waterfall, Tahiti's highest at an incredible 443 feet. Learn about the iridescence and luster of pearls at the Robert Wan Pearl Museum or take a walking tour of the colorful and creative street art and murals painted by talented international artists.

Hilo, Hawaii, is on the east coast of the Big Island and is renowned for its lush greenery. See how the 2018 reawakening of Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire and volcanoes, has changed the landscape at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Thrill seekers can choose from excursions such as a helicopter ride to Kilauea Volcano or zip-lining through a river gorge. Or for those who want to take it easier, a visit to Richardson Ocean Park, a black sand beach carved into the rocky shoreline, or a stroll through farmers markets with aisles of colorful fruits, vegetables and flowers, would be perfect.

Kailua-Kona on Hawaii has a laid-back vibe and myriad things to do: roam a national park, swim or snorkel in the sea, or play a round of golf at one of three courses overlooking the ocean. Visit Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation to learn about different beans and roasts and sample some of the aromatic fresh brews. Experience Magic Sands Beach, a beautiful stretch of turquoise water and white sand – when it's there. It's named Magic Sands Beach because every so often a big storm will take all the sand out to sea, exposing rock until the sandy beach is returned by the sea over time.

Villa Vie Residences Introduces New Approach to World Cruises
Villa Vie Residences, an innovative new world cruise brand, today announced details on its visionary new concept. Beginning in May of 2024, Villa Vie will circumnavigate the world every 3.5 years, visiting more than 420 ports in 147 countries across all seven continents. Aspiring global travelers can embark on the voyage of a lifetime by purchasing a cabin to own onboard or joining the VVRI Voyagers Program, where they can curate their own unique journey and combine up to 16 world cruise segments.

"Villa Vie Residences is not just a cruise; it's a lifestyle reimagined," said Mikael Petterson, the company's chief executive officer and a seasoned cruise industry executive. "With the launch of our new brand, we are empowering travelers to make the world their home, all while enjoying unmatched luxury and flexibility."

From the enchanting fjords of Northern Europe and the icy fjords of Greenland to the vibrant Caribbean, the soul of South America and the sun-kissed shores of the Mediterranean, Villa Vie Residences' promises a new chapter in the adventure of a lifetime. With diverse regions spanning the globe, from the majestic landscapes of Africa to the pristine beaches of the South Pacific and the bustling cities of Asia, Villa Vie Residences offers a truly immersive and enriching experience that unveils the world's wonders at every turn of the journey.

With a focus on providing unparalleled experiences, Villa Vie Residences is revolutionizing the world cruise concept with two innovative options:

Own a Cabin at Sea

• Through its residential ownership program, Villa Vie lets travelers embrace life as a global resident by owning their very own cabin at sea. Cabins are fully equipped and elegantly designed floating havens for those seeking to call the world's most breathtaking destinations home:

• Prices start at $99,999

• Family and friends can visit at no cost ($33 daily port taxes and gratuities apply)

• Ability to rent out cabin when unable to be onboard

Craft Your Own Ultimate World Cruise

• Through its unique Voyagers Program, Villa Vie is answering the call for flexibility from the world's most discerning travelers, allowing them to curate their own journey and purchase segments of the continuous world cruise program that range from 35 to 120 days:

• Prices start at $89/day per person

Travelers have the ability to choose from 16 various segments of the meticulously crafted 1,301-day itinerary

A new standard of luxury will be featured onboard for Villa Vie Residences' owners and guests, offering all-inclusive living that extends to every facet of the experience. Residents can enjoy everything from a cutting-edge business center complete with private offices and an inviting library, to a culinary arts center with interactive cooking classes and self-service options. Additional amenities will include multiple dining venues, an onboard Pet Spa & Resort, a golf-around-the-world program, modern fitness center, vibrant live entertainment and sustainable enrichment programs, among others. Residents will enjoy the comforts of home with complimentary services including weekly professional housekeeping, bi-weekly laundry service and 24/7 medical support.

Villa Vie Residences is slated to begin its inaugural 1,301-day journey around the world in May of 2024. Additional details will be announced in the coming weeks.

Cunard Announces Three-year Partnership with British Film Institute for Queen Anne
Cunard has teamed up with the British Film Institute (BFI) for an exclusive new partnership that will make waves with film lovers ahead of the launch of the line's newest ship, Queen Anne.

The cruise line has announced a three-year partnership with the UK's lead organization for film, TV, and the moving image. The collaboration will see a curated program of short films and beloved blockbusters shown exclusively on the outdoor screen in The Pavilion aboard Queen Anne.

The Pavilion is an idyllic open-air oasis on the top deck of Cunard's newest ship, and the BFI will be showing 10 films every month on the cinematic LED screen in this romantic outdoor space. These specially selected films will also be shown in guests' staterooms.

As a multi-purpose space, The Pavilion boasts a specially designed glass dome roof that retracts in warmer climates. Inspired by beautiful glasshouses, it is the ideal spot for getting lost in a book or enjoying a dip in the pool by day and for meeting new friends over a glass of wine in the evening.

The space has been designed by David Collins Studio, with its sophisticated aesthetic likened to a ship sailing through serene waters as guests breeze from one moment to the next. The gentle arc of the glass dome encompasses all the experiences within the space, and opens to let the outside in.

Acclaimed architect Martin Francis – who supported with engineering the iconic Louvre Pyramid in Paris – led a redesigning of the glass dome, which will now feature a refined arched steel frame to maximize height and light in the space as it stretches up and aft to create the new Wellness Studio.

Queen Anne's wider design concepts have been founded on heritage, craftmanship, style, storytelling, and innovation, and the 113,000-ton, 3,000-guest ship, which spans 14 decks, will offer guests several breath-taking experiences, and more choices of entertainment, dining, and bars than ever before.

BFI Partnership

In addition to the collaboration with The Pavilion on Queen Anne, Cunard will be a main sponsor of the 67th BFI London Film Festival, in partnership with American Express, which runs at venues across London, as well as in nine UK partner cinemas, from October 4-15, 2023, as well as in 2024 and 2025.

On October 11, the Cunard Gala will support the European premiere of The Holdovers at the BFI London Film Festival – in association with Universal Pictures and Focus Features – at the Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall. The Holdovers is a new American comedy-drama from acclaimed director Alexander Payne.

Katie McAlister, President of Cunard, said: "We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with the British Film Institute, with our shared dedication to providing immersive experiences aligning perfectly. We're hugely proud of our long-standing affiliation with the silver screen, with some of Hollywood's biggest names having sailed in style with Cunard – from Charlie Chaplin to Meryl Streep. As the first cruise line to host an on board film premiere with the launch of The Greatest Showman on Queen Mary 2 in 2017, we are incredibly passionate about the power of timeless storytelling. We have dedicated spaces for film enthusiasts across the fleet, and our new ship Queen Anne will boast even more big screen experiences for guests. Together with the BFI, we'll strive to create unparalleled and unforgettable moments for film lovers."

Francesca Vinti, BFI Executive Director of Fundraising and Enterprise, added: "We are thrilled to be working alongside Cunard on this partnership and are incredibly thankful for their support of the BFI and the BFI London Film Festival. We are excited to be able to reach audiences in new inventive ways with amazing films and look forward to collaborating with Cunard over the next three years."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 13.90 - 7.58%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 90.97 - 5.16%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 15.18 - 11.33%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What year did Carnival Cruise Lines begin operations and what was the name of their first cruise ship? Bonus: what was the original name of this ship and which line did she sail for?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Just outside of the Britannia Restaurant on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 are a series of metallic, art deco-influenced frescoes celebrating the historical and cultural icons of the continents. In addition to the Statue of Liberty and the U.S. Capitol on the "North America" mural there is a very tiny and surprising representative of the continent? Can you name him/her?

Answer - Homer Simpson is on the mural on the QM2 ! courtesy of Robert Alderman


Cruise News - September 18, 2023

Royal Caribbean’s Utopia of the Seas Floats for the First Time
It was a big weekend for the world’s biggest weekend: Royal Caribbean International’s Utopia of the Seas is now one step closer to its debut in Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida, in July 2024. The game-changing Oasis Class ship floated for the first time over the weekend, marking a major milestone and the next phase of construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.

Known as the float out, the key moment in the construction of Utopia took 17 months to reach. The process itself took nearly 15 hours, beginning with filling the new ship’s dry dock with more than 46 million gallons of water overnight. Utopia was then moved into an outfitting dock, where it will be completed in summer 2024. Since construction on the next Oasis Class ship started in April 2022, the new vacation has taken shape with more than 74 blocks of steel that have been lifted and assembled into place. Utopia will now begin to come to life as its highly anticipated features are installed, from the longest dry slide at sea – the 295-foot-long Ultimate Abyss – to a first-of-its-kind immersive train car dining experience.

Utopia will introduce unmatched weekend energy across a combination of more than 40 ways to dine and drink, more pools than the days to count, thrills, ways to chill and more. Friends and families celebrating any occasion can create their ultimate weekend and memories with their pick and mix of new signature adventures and reimagined experiences, like newly designed resort-style pools, a new Caribbean tiki bar – the Pesky Parrot – a reimagined Izumi restaurant, now in Central Park, with a new convenient pick-up window for fresh sushi and Japanese street food, and al fresco dining; and showstopping nightlife and entertainment.

The ultimate 3-night weekend and 4-night weekday getaway will be the first in the revolutionary Oasis Class to offer short escapes when it debuts in July 2024. Every vacation will feature visits to Nassau, The Bahamas, and Perfect Day at CocoCay – Royal Caribbean’s award-winning private island – that will feature its first adults-only slice of paradise, Hideaway Beach, starting in January 2024.

Utopia will also make waves when it debuts in July 2024 as the first Oasis Class ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the cleanest-burning marine fuel to date. As the cruise line’s second LNG-powered ship – following Icon of the Seas ­– Utopia will advance Royal Caribbean’s decades-long commitment to the environment by combining LNG technology with a lineup of the brand’s already-established environmentally friendly initiatives and features, from waste heat recovery systems to shore power connection.

Cunard Announces New 2025 Program for Queen Anne, Queen Mary 2, and Queen Victoria
Cunard has pioneered ocean travel for more than 180 years and now the luxury cruise line is offering travelers the chance to set sail on more unforgettable holidays with the release of 180 new voyages for 2025.

"With 180 fantastic itineraries to choose from, there really is a Cunard voyage for everyone."

The compelling program features sailings between April 2025 and January 2026 and includes an eclectic mix of exciting itineraries spanning 91 destinations, across 24 countries globally, on board Queen Mary 2, Queen Anne, and Queen Victoria.

Queen Anne will primarily be sailing to the Western Mediterranean, Norwegian Fjords and Western Europe, while Queen Mary 2 will continue her iconic Transatlantic Crossings and Queen Victoria will be based in the Mediterranean. Each Queen's program boasts at least one maiden call; however, Queen Anne will make no fewer than 19 maiden calls – including Bilbao, Ibiza, Skjolden, Messina and Santorini.

Queen Anne

Guests will discover their dream destination with Queen Anne in 2025. As the newest addition to the Cunard fleet, her design concepts have been founded on heritage, craftmanship, style, storytelling, and innovation, and the 113,000-ton, 3,000-guest ship, which spans 14 decks, will offer travelers several breath-taking experiences, and more choices of entertainment, dining, and bars than ever before.

For her 2025 program, Queen Anne will be sailing out of Southampton, England, providing a range of destinations and itinerary lengths varying from two to 19 nights, which will include 19 maiden calls. From a 12-night voyage taking in the mystical landscapes of the Norwegian Fjords in June to a 16-night Mediterranean sailing around France, Spain, and Italy in July – taking in several of Europe's most enchanting ancient cities – Cunard's newest Queen will be embarking on a host of captivating voyages.

Queen Mary 2

From the UNESCO-inscribed architecture of Old Quebec to the medieval streets of Bruges, guests will discover holidays on both sides of the Atlantic on Cunard's flagship and the world's only true ocean liner in 2025.

Whether it's the white sands and warm shallows of the Caribbean in December or indulging in Cunard signatures during uninterrupted sea days on a Transatlantic Crossing, a voyage on Queen Mary 2 is always an extraordinary experience.

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria will be based in the Mediterranean across the program from May to October 2025, offering a range of 7, 14 and 21-night itineraries out of Barcelona, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Trieste.

One of the many dazzling highlights of Queen Victoria's 2025 program is her two-week Istanbul and Greek Islands sailing in May. This voyage from Civitavecchia takes in some of the Eastern Mediterranean's greatest treasures, from exploring Turkish seas to serene Greek islands, each port makes for an adventure to remember.

Katie McAlister, President of Cunard, said: "We are incredibly excited to be launching our new 2025 program and with 180 fantastic itineraries to choose from, there really is a Cunard voyage for everyone. Whether it's an iconic Transatlantic crossing, a Scandinavian adventure, or Christmas in the Caribbean, our fleet of Queens provide the perfect opportunity to explore the world in style.

Princess Announces New 2025 Cruises and Cruisetours from Japan
In response to increasing demand for cruises in Japan – one of the hottest trends in travel - Princess Cruises has released its 2025 Japan cruise season. The newly announced 2025 Japan cruise season offers travelers the wonders of this island nation where ancient traditions and modernity co-exist in harmony.

From ancient temples and storied castles to bustling markets and breathtaking gardens, cruisers experience the best of Japan with Princess in 2025 on 35 cruises ranging in length from seven- to 22-day. The March through August season features Japan-built Diamond Princess sailing from Tokyo (Yokohama) to 36 destinations in 3 countries with the #1 North American Cruise Line in Japan. The season is now on sale.

"Japan is best experienced on a cruise, sailing around this scenic island nation taking in festivals, flowers, legendary sites and landscapes," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "Our upcoming 2025 season features itineraries and offerings crafted with area tourism boards to showcase the best of the local art, cuisine, music and popular culture."

2025 Itinerary Highlights:

• 10-day and NEW 11-day Spring Flowers cruises in March and April, cruising to all four main islands and following the predicted blooming season as it moves from south to north.

• 9-day Southern Islands itineraries with two calls to the Okinawan islands and two calls to Taiwan, including a return to Hualien.

• 9-day and 10-day Sea of Japan voyages that feature ports along the historic Kitamaebune trading route.

• 10-day Hokkaido voyages that visit Otaru (for Sapporo), Hakodate, and Kushiro.

• 10-day Japan Explorer voyages that call to some of the country's most iconic destinations like Shimizu (for Mt. Fuji), Osaka or Kobe (for Kyoto), Hiroshima, and more.

• Scenic cruising of the Kanmon Straits, the stretch of water separating Honshu and Kyushu.

Traditional Japanese summer festivals take place throughout the country in the summer, especially in August. Guests sailing to Japan with Princess in 2025 will have the chance to enjoy four of these unique festivals:

• Aomori Nebuta Festival (August 2 and 7)

• Kochi Yosakoi Dance Festival (August 12)

• Tokushima Awa Dance Festival (August 13)

• Kumano Fireworks Festival (August 17)

More Ashore:

With late-night and overnight stays, guests can spend more time in port and experience the culture and lifestyle.

Four late-night More Ashore ports including Aomori (for Nebuta Festival), Kochi (for Yosakoi Festival), Shimizu (for Mt. Fiji), and Tokushima (for Awa Odori Festival).

Highlights of Japan Cruisetour:

With options to combine a cruise and land tour for a deeper look at Kyoto and Tokyo, guests tour Kyoto's intricate gardens, sightsee at Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), Great Buddha of Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine. They also have more time to explore bustling Tokyo and visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Mt. Fuji with stunning views from Togendai and Lake Ashi.

Built in Japan, 2,670-guest Diamond Princess offers a unique experience tailored to the region. Guests enjoy authentic cuisine at Kai Sushi, sip Japanese-inspired cocktails created by mixologist Rob Floyd, soak in the traditional Izumi bath and enjoy folkloric shows, regional entertainment and Japanese holiday celebrations.

Royal Caribbean Group Drives Forward Alternative Fuel Use with The Successful Completion of Biofuel Testing
This week, Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) laid important groundwork for the industry's alternative fuel ambitions by completing over 12 consecutive weeks of biofuel testing in Europe. The company's steadfast pursuit to find lower-carbon energy solutions is driven by its SEA the Future commitment to sustaining the planet, energizing communities, and accelerating innovation. By introducing methods that reduce emissions today, Royal Caribbean Group is ultimately advancing the decarbonization of its operations.

"This is a pivotal moment for Royal Caribbean Group's alternative fuel journey," said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. "Following our successful trial of biofuels this summer, we are one step closer to bringing our vision for net-zero cruising to life. As we strive to protect and promote the vibrant oceans we sail, we are determined to accelerate innovation and improve how we deliver vacation experiences responsibly."

Today, in Barcelona, Royal Caribbean International's Symphony of the Seas became the first ship in the maritime industry to successfully test and use a biofuel blend in Barcelona to meet part of her fuel needs. The company confirmed onboard technical systems met operational standards, without quality or safety concerns, demonstrating the biofuel blend is a reliable "drop in" supply of lower emission energy that ships can use to set sail across Europe and beyond. The tests across Europe also provided valuable data to understand the availability and scalability of biofuel in the region.

"Royal Caribbean's success is a clear example of how commitment to innovation makes possible the development of solutions to decarbonise the maritime sector. In this case, it involves the cruise sector and focuses on biofuels, an area in which the Port of Barcelona is already working to become an energy hub, producing and supplying zero carbon fuels, such as green hydrogen and ammonia, and of other almost zero-carbon alternative fuels, such as methanol, biofuels or synthetic fuels. Innovation and collaboration between ports and shipping companies is key to accelerate the decarbonisation of maritime transport," said the President of the Port of Barcelona, Lluís Salvadó.

The company began testing biofuels last year and expanded the trail this summer in Europe to two additional ships — Royal Caribbean International's Symphony of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Apex. The sustainable biofuel blends tested were produced by purifying renewable raw materials like waste oils and fats and combining them with fuel oil to create an alternative fuel that is cleaner and more sustainable. The biofuel blends tested are accredited by International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC), a globally recognized organization that ensures sustainability of biofuels and verifies reductions of related emissions.

With Symphony of the Seas departing from the Port of Barcelona and Celebrity Apex departing from the Port of Rotterdam, both ships accomplished multiple sailings using biofuel and contributed critical data on the fuel's capabilities. These results will help accelerate Royal Caribbean Group's plans to continue testing the use of different types of biofuels on upcoming European sailings this fall. The company is exploring strategic partnerships with suppliers and ports to ensure the availability of biofuel and infrastructures to advance the maritime energy transition.

Royal Caribbean Group's sustainability journey began over 30 years ago, and it has remained steadfast in its commitment to innovate, and advance, the solutions necessary for a more sustainable future.

Cunard Announces Roll Out of SpaceX's Starlink Across Its Fleet
Cunard has announced it is rolling out a new Wi-Fi service on board as it launches SpaceX's Starlink across its fleet.

Starlink, the leader in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology, will provide guests with greater capacity across Cunard ships, allowing for sharing photos and videos, streaming films, and enjoying other content on board with a more reliable Wi-Fi connection at even faster speeds.

The roll-out of Starlink aboard Cunard Queens began in June 2023, with the service due to be available in both public spaces and staterooms on Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth by the end of 2023.

Cunard's newest ship, Queen Anne, will launch with the service in May 2024.

Cunard President Katie McAlister said: "Sharing unforgettable moments with friends and family back at home is an important part of any holiday. Whether it's uploading a picture of a sunset as you sail away from a newly discovered destination or catching up with the news, live events, or content from home, Starlink will make it even easier for our guests and colleagues to stay connected."

Starlink vice president of commercial sales Jonathan Hofeller said: "High-speed internet is critical to our modern lifestyle both at home and when travelling. We're excited that Cunard guests and crew will benefit from an improved Wi-Fi service on board wherever they are in the world."

Royal Caribbean Reveals Hideaway Beach, the First Adults-only Escape on Perfect Day at Cococay
Dialing up the perfect at the one-of-a-kind Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas, Royal Caribbean International reveals the first look at the private island's first adults-only escape – Hideaway Beach. The beachfront paradise, set to open in January 2024 with the debut of the highly anticipated Icon of the Seas, is an all-day experience complete with a private beach and pools, new dedicated spots for drinks and bites, exclusive cabanas, live music and more. Vacationers can be the first to book their adults-only experience beginning today at www.RoyalCaribbean.com/Hideaway-Beach.

Hideaway Beach adds to what continues to be an unmatched combination of ways to do just that."

Tucked away on the northwest beach of Perfect Day at CocoCay, Hideaway Beach packs the best of a tropical getaway. For an entry charge, vacationers age 18 and older can celebrate, cool off and kick back across a private beach, two pools, 20 cabanas, seven open-air bars and spots to grab a bite, and more:

Adulting Beachside or Poolside

• Hideaway Beach – From end to end is over an acre of The Bahamas' white sand beaches and turquoise waters exclusive to Hideaway Beach guests. Vacationers can enjoy the beachfront views and breeze at any one of the resort-style loungers and umbrellas along the shore or on the in-water hammocks and swings while playing beach games and listening to the beats of the live DJ by the pool.

• Hideaway Pool – Partygoers can turn up the volume on the celebration with all-day tunes from the DJ and the lively swim-up bar at the center of the action. With in-water seating and loungers, and poolside loungers throughout the heated infinity-edge pool, every spot is also the best seat in the house to take in the picture-perfect views.

• Hideaway Cabanas – Just steps away from the party, vacationers can level up their day in paradise at 10 chic poolside cabanas that have a range of amenities like cabana attendant service at the push of a call button, a mini-fridge, floating beach mats and charging outlets.

• The Hideout – This nook at one end of Hideaway Beach is just close enough to the buzz but carves out an exclusive, elevated experience. In one of 10 Hideout Cabanas, those looking for a more VIP, chill vibe can kick back at a heated infinity-edge plunge pool – exclusive to The Hideout guests – and enjoy the convenience of perks like cabana attendant service, in-water loungers, an outdoor shower and resort-style seating.

Laidback Bites and Drinks

• On the Rocks – The area's new and unofficial lookout, this al fresco bar along the rocky shore serves up a vibrant scene of live musicians, TVs to watch live sports, games like pool and shuffleboard, and memorable ocean views along with refreshing drinks like frozen margaritas and mai tais.

• Hideaway Bar – The swim-up bar at Hideaway Pool is the place to be and be seen, and with two levels, vacationers can take their drinks poolside or without leaving the water to maximize every minute of their island time.

• Slice of Paradise – This all-new rustic pizza haven with a bar and complimentary food includes fresh-from-the-oven favorites, island twists like a Bahamian guava barbecue chicken option and more.

• Snack Shack – A staple on Perfect Day at CocoCay, this new location offers the popular menu's complimentary chicken sandwiches, burgers, fried mozzarella sticks, fresh salads and more, as well as shaded seating, and Adirondack chairs and tables on the sand.

• Beach Bars – Rounding out the experience are two full-service beach bars located on both sides of the new beachfront paradise, so a drink is never far away.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.04 - 2.84%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 95.92 - 1.78%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 17.12 + 2.76%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Just outside of the Britannia Restaurant on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 are a series of metallic, art deco-influenced frescoes celebrating the historical and cultural icons of the continents. In addition to the Statue of Liberty and the U.S. Capitol on the "North America" mural there is a very tiny and surprising representative of the continent? Can you name him/her?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Name the two sister ships, built in the 1950's, that reportedly had deck space in their "dummy" funnels set aside for topless sunbathing.

Answer - The two 1950's sister ships that had facilities for nude sunbathing in their dummy funnels were the Argentina and Brasil. These two ships were built for Moore-McCormack Line's New York to Buenos Aires service and made their maiden voyages in late 1958. courtesy of Brian O'Leary, Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada


Cruise News - September 11, 2023

Ocean Explorer Runs Aground In Greenland
The Ocean Explorer ran aground in Greenland on Monday. According to the Joint Arctic Command, the incident took place while the expedition vessel was cruising at the Alpefjord in the Northeast Greenland National Park.

Currently operating under charter for Aurora Expeditions, the Ocean Explorer is part of SunStone Ships’ Infinity Class.

The Ocean Explorer got into trouble on Monday in Alpefjord, a dramatic and rugged stretch of Northeast Greenland National Park, and has not been able to free itself, according to a statement from Denmark’s Joint Arctic Command (JAC).

“This means that the tide - which came during the day, local time - did not give the desired help to sail on,” a JAC statement said. There were no reported injuries or risk of damage to the environment as a result of the grounding.

Approximagely 210 passengers and crew are reportedly onboard the 8,000-ton vessel, which entered service in mid-2021. There are no reports that human life or the environment are in danger, the Joint Arctic Command said, adding that the situation is being followed closely.

Set Sail on a Spectacular Festive Voyage with Oceania Cruises
Oceania Cruises invites travelers to experience a once-in-a-lifetime festive season voyage aboard seven of its small, luxurious ships. With over 40 sailings departing from Miami, Lima, Sydney, Singapore, Abu Dhabi or Dubai during the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 holiday seasons, guests can immerse themselves in the cultural richness of myriad of enticing destinations.

This captivating collection of diverse itineraries offers a holiday getaway for every type of traveler, from exploring the pristine beaches of the Caribbean to discovering the vibrant energy of Latin America and from enjoying exotic islands across Polynesia and top destinations in Australia to setting off on enticing Arabian adventures.

The holiday festivities begin the minute guests step aboard one of Oceania Cruises' intimate ships, which are festooned with enchanting seasonal decorations, glittering lights, festive garlands, elegantly dressed trees and showstopping gingerbread villages.

Joyful entertainment includes a reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve, visits from Santa Claus and his helpers, charming carol singing, glistening evening shows on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, a beautiful display for the lighting of the Menorah, and special dedicated services on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Travelers can also ring in the New Year in style with ship-wide entertainment, including incredible countdown parties with a special Champagne toast to mark the midnight hour, and a decadent gala brunch on New Year's Day, featuring lavish desserts ranging from tarts and tortes to cheesecakes, macarons, and light and fluffy profiteroles.

Festive feasts on board the fleet of small, luxurious ships live up to the line's promise of The Finest Cuisine at Sea, from traditional eggnog with breakfast on Christmas Day to an exquisite Hanukkah dining menu in The Grand Dining Room, delightful high teas and a multi-course traditional Christmas Day dinner flawlessly prepared by the finest chefs at sea.

"Cruising aboard a luxurious ship replete with celebratory menus, glistening decorations and festive entertainment is an extraordinary way to spend the holiday season," said Frank A. Del Rio, President of Oceania Cruises. "Our collection of festive itineraries explores enticing locales the world over, creating memories to last a lifetime."

Headlining this 2023-2024 season is an exotic 12-day Caribbean Wanderlust adventure aboard the line's new ship, Vista, starting and finishing in Miami and calling on the tempting islands of Dominica, St. Lucia and beyond, departing December 18, 2023. However, now is also a great time to look ahead and plan for next year's holiday season, with a variety of captivating destinations to choose from.

simply MORE This Holiday Season

Oceania Cruises will continue offering travelers simply MORE during the holiday season. The new value promise means travelers seeking holidays at sea will receive the greatest value in luxury cruising, with virtually everything they desire included in their voyage fare: a hassle-free arrival and departure with free roundtrip airfare and free airport transfers; more unforgettable travel experiences with a generous shore excursion credit of up to $1,600 per stateroom to be spent on tours of their choice; and more occasions to celebrate the season with a comprehensive beverage package available during lunch and dinner at onboard restaurants featuring dozens of vintage Champagnes, premium wines and international beers.

Created to elevate the guest experience as well as create long-lasting memories in enticing destinations and provide access to exquisite indulgences, simply MORE makes the holidays even brighter aboard Oceania Cruises. Available on all new reservations on sailings departing October 1, 2023, or later.

2023-2024 Festive Season Voyage Highlights

Gems of the Leewards: 12 days from Miami to Miami aboard Insignia
Raise a glass to the holidays amid the inviting Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, a dazzling combination of wave-kissed beaches, yacht-strewn harbors, dramatic landscapes and a captivating dash of European sophistication. Departs December 17, 2023.

Caribbean Wanderlust: 12 Days from Miami to Miami aboard Vista.
Departing from Miami, revel in the sun-splashed pleasures of the Caribbean on this revitalizing holiday season escape to the carefree islands of the Eastern Caribbean to Dominica, St. Lucia and beyond. Departs December 18, 2023.

Legendary Latin America: 24 Days from Lima to Buenos Aires aboard Marina.
Celebrate the joyous spirit of Latin America, from the otherworldly deserts of Peru to the multifaceted sophistication of Uruguay and Argentina, on a journey punctuated by an extraordinary passage to Antarctica. Departs December 18, 2023.

Awe of Australia: 14 days from Sydney to Bali aboard Regatta
Revel in the myriad delights of Australia's eastern coast – think renowned vineyards, cutting-edge galleries, the iconic Gold Coast, the Great Barrier Reef and more – as you sail towards Indonesia and the abundance of beauty that is Bali. Departs December 21, 2023.

Sapphire Seas Holiday: 12 days from Miami to Miami aboard Sirena
Revel in the joyous Caribbean this holiday season in festive destinations such as the playful Dominican Republic, très-chic St. Barts, breathtaking Dominica, bountiful Barbados and luminescent Guadeloupe. Departs December 22, 2023.

Tropics of Capricorn: 24 Days from Singapore to Papeete aboard Nautica
For nearly a month, weave around the Tropic of Capricorn and discover a constellation of verdant islands and Australian gems. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, delight in rich Polynesian traditions or simply float peacefully in a crystalline lagoon. Departs December 28, 2023.

Sumptuous Arabia: 10 Days from Abu Dhabi to Mumbai aboard Riviera
Marvel at the desert cities of Oman and the UAE, where sleek architecture sits beside sumptuous palaces and mosques. Relish an overnight stay in vibrant Mumbai and a visit to remote Sir Bani Yas, home to more than 17,000 free-roaming exotic animals. Departs December 29, 2023.

2024-2025 Festive Season Voyage Highlights

Hidden Caribbean Coves: 10 Days from Miami to Miami aboard Vista
Trade gray skies for radiant light on this illuminating jaunt throughout the sun-dappled Caribbean, with ample opportunities to hike verdant peaks, snorkel gin-clear waters, sample local rums, sail a catamaran or simply relax on an idyllic beach. Departs December 17, 2024.

Mangroves of the Maya: 14 Days from Miami to Bridgetown aboard Sirena
Celebrate the holidays in the joyful Caribbean and in the lands of the Maya, exploring impressive ancient pyramids and delicate coral reefs. In Costa Rica, observe mischievous monkeys, and in the Dutch Antilles admire the candy-colored architecture. Departs December 21, 2024.

Antarctic and Patagonian Joy: 24 days from Lima to Buenos Aires aboard Marina
Experience the extraordinary as you weave among the spectacular Chilean Fjords, venture to Antarctica's icy reaches, mingle with penguins in the Falkland Islands and hit the town in vibrant Buenos Aires, where you'll enjoy an overnight stay. Departs December 21, 2024.

Festive Caribbean: 14 days from Miami to Miami aboard Insignia
Create unforgettable holiday memories on this wide-ranging exploration of the sparkling Caribbean, from the colorful Dutch Antilles and Barbados' rum distilleries to the joyous energy of Puerto Rico and idyllic cays of St. Vincent. Departs December 22, 2024.

Sheiks to Shrines: 21 Days from Abu Dhabi to Singapore aboard Riviera
Uncover exotic lands that range from the beguiling sandy expanses of the UAE and the ornate Hindu temples of India to the tropical paradises of Southeast Asia, with overnights in Mumbai, Yangon and Singapore adding to the sense of exhilaration. Departs December 22, 2024.

Wonders of Australia: 20 Days from Sydney to Perth aboard Regatta
Experience Australia's spectacular northern coastline, where the Great Barrier Reef shimmers just offshore, fascinating Aboriginal culture endures, and a frontier spirit permeates everyday life. Guests will enjoy overnight stays in Bali and Perth. Departs December 22, 2024.

Beyond the Panama Canal: 14 Days from Miami to Los Angeles aboard Nautica
Ring in the new year with an incredible passage through the Panama Canal, bookended by stops in Cartagena, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and lush Puntarenas. Round out the cruise to Los Angeles with an exploration of Mexico's luminous west coast. Departs December 23, 2024.

Carnival Legend to Sail from San Francisco in 2025
Carnival Cruise Line will deploy the 2,124 passenger Carnival Legend to continue its seasonal offerings from San Francisco in 2025, offering alternating 10-day Alaska cruises and four-day Baja Mexico sailings. In addition, Carnival Legend will sail two Carnival Journeys cruises – a 14-day Panama Canal transit taking guests from Tampa, Fla. to San Francisco and a 15-day voyage that offers a spectacular Hawaiian getaway. These sailings open for sale today.

“Carnival Miracle has been sailing from San Francisco since 2022, so we wanted to offer our guests a new option for the 2025 season – Carnival Legend is a sister ship to Carnival Miracle. She’s similar in size and layout, but offers some variety in terms of features and amenities,” said Fred Stein, vice president of revenue planning and deployment. “Carnival Legend will be a perfect addition to the port as we continue to expand our West Coast service offerings and strengthen our position as the cruise line embarking more guests than any other operator from California.”

The following is an overview of the new offerings on Carnival Legend from San Francisco beginning in April 2025:

Alaska Sailings

Carnival Legend will begin 10-day cruises to Alaska on May 12, 2025. Guests will visit picturesque destinations, including Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and a memorable scenic cruising of Tracy Arm Fjord in Alaska, as well as Prince Rupert, B.C. in Canada.

Mexico Sailings

Carnival Legend’s first cruise from San Francisco on May 8, 2025, will bring guests on a four-day Baja Mexico cruise with a stop in Ensenada, Mexico, before the ship’s Alaska series begins. Throughout the summer, Carnival Legend will offer an additional eight of these four-day weekend getaways.

Carnival Journeys

Ahead of its move to San Francisco, Carnival Legend will offer a 14-day Carnival Journeys Panama Canal cruise that departs Tampa, Fla. on April 24, 2025. The ship will visit Cartagena, Colombia before transiting the Panama Canal, followed by visits to Puntarenas, Costa Rica and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, arriving in San Francisco on May 8, 2025.

Following its series of Alaska and Baja Mexico cruises, Carnival Legend will sail a unique 15-day roundtrip Carnival Journeys cruise to Hawaii from San Francisco. Departing Sept. 21, 2025, the ship will visit Kahului, Maui; Honolulu, Oahu; Nawiliwili, Kauai; and Hilo, Hawaii; as well as Ensenada, Mexico.

Carnival Legend features many of the signature venues guests know and love on board – from Guy’s Burger Joint to the BlueIguana Cantina, the RedFrog and Alchemy bars, as well as WaterWorks Aqua Park and The Punchliner Comedy Club – and offers several accommodation options, including 50 suites and more than 630 balcony staterooms.

Carnival recently announced deployment plans for 2025 Alaska cruises departing Seattle. Carnival Spirit and Carnival Luminosa will each offer week-long sailings that visit the region’s most popular destinations. To see all Alaska cruises currently open for sale, click here. Additional 2025-26 deployment details will be announced soon, with more itineraries becoming available in the coming weeks.

Virgin Voyages Announces $550 Million in Funding
Virgin Voyages (the "Company"), the multi, award-winning cruise brand from Richard Branson's Virgin Group, today announced it has closed on a $550 million capital raise to accelerate its growth plans. The funding round was led by funds managed by the Private Equity Group of Ares Management ("Ares"), a leading global alternative investment manager, and also includes additional capital from existing investors including Virgin Group and Bain Capital. The new funding raise will enable Virgin Voyages to strengthen its financial position while supporting the brand's rapid expansion into international markets, with a relentless focus on creating an outstanding and innovative customer experience.

As Virgin Voyages looks ahead to its next phase of growth, the Company further announced that founding Chief Executive Officer, Tom McAlpin, is retiring as CEO and transitioning to the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors. He will continue to support the brand and team at an executive and industry level. Nirmal Saverimuttu, who currently serves as President and Chief Experience Officer, has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer.

"It is hard to express just how proud I am of all that the Virgin Voyages Crew has created and the strong endorsement we are receiving from Ares. We have won numerous industry awards and received many five-star reviews because of our passion for this brand," said McAlpin. "While I will miss the day-to-day, I believe it is the right time to step aside as CEO. Nirmal is a great friend and experienced leader who lives and breathes the Virgin Voyages culture. I know he will help take this amazing brand and Crew to new heights, and I look forward to continuing to support the leadership team as Chairman."

Virgin Voyages officially launched in August 2021 and currently operates three ships, servicing the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and by the end of the year, Australia and New Zealand. The brand is already making waves, including being named No. 1 in the mega-ship category in the 2023 Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards and a recent clean-sweep of the five cruise categories in the 2023 Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards.

"With this new investment alongside our partners at Virgin Group and Bain Capital, we believe the Company is on strong footing to capitalize on its differentiated product and value proposition in the growing cruise industry," said Aaron Rosen, Partner and Co-Portfolio Manager of Special Opportunities in the Ares Private Equity Group. "We believe that Virgin Voyages continues to be at the forefront of industry growth, and we look forward to working with Tom, Nirmal and the entire management team on this next chapter," added Jordan Smith, Partner in the Ares Private Equity Group.

"The success of this capital raise shows how much Virgin Voyages has achieved and how much further it can go. We are very proud of the experience that Virgin Voyages has created and continues to deliver every day across its fleet," said Josh Bayliss, CEO of the Virgin Group. "At Virgin, we have always aimed to create extraordinary experiences and challenge the status quo while putting purpose at the core of everything we do. With Tom at the helm, Virgin Voyages has established itself as a company that can do that consistently. We are so grateful for his and the team's leadership in creating a truly brilliant business and look forward to this next phase of the Company's growth."

Saverimuttu was a founding leader of Virgin Voyages and joined the business as Chief Commercial Officer in 2014 from the Virgin Group after successfully closing the first investment round. In early 2021, he took on the expanded role of President and Chief Experience Officer.

"I want to send our deepest thanks, on behalf of all our Crew and the Board, to Tom for his leadership and passion for the business. We are so grateful for all he has done and are thrilled to continue to partner with him as our Chairman," said Saverimuttu. "Virgin Voyages is a beloved brand because of our Crew's dedication and passion for delivering epic experiences for our guests. I am looking forward to working with the Ares team and our existing investors to deliver on our growth and expansion plans as we look ahead to our very bright future."

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as exclusive financial advisor and sole placement agent to Virgin Voyages. Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel to Virgin Voyages. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal counsel to Ares.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.48 - 1.59%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 97.66 - 0.04%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 16.66 + 1.59%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the two sister ships, built in the 1950's, that reportedly had deck space in their "dummy" funnels set aside for topless sunbathing.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When the SS France was built for the French Line in 1960 she cost $80 million. How much did Norwegian Cruise Line pay for the classic liner when they acquired her in 1979 to sail as the SS Norway?

Answer - NCL bought the France for 18M USD in 1979. courtesy of Jonas Ekstam, Stockholm, Sweden


Cruise News - September 4, 2023

Oceania Cruises Unveils Inaugural Season Sailings for Allura
Oceania Cruises has revealed the Inaugural Season sailings for Allura, its newest ship, due to join the fleet in summer 2025. The 26 Inaugural Season sailings span more than 92 destinations on various seven- to 34-day voyages and will open for sale on September 13, 2023. The opulent newbuild will boast standard staterooms measuring at an astounding 291 square feet, larger than many entry-level suites on some ultra-luxury cruise lines.

As the line's second 1,200-guest Allura Class ship, she follows her sister, Vista, which launched to great global acclaim this past May in a glittering christening ceremony and sold-out debut season. On a journey to the ultimate Oceania Cruises experience, Allura's monumental Inaugural Season is bound to excite any traveler's desires and can be viewed online beginning September 6, 2023, at www.OceaniaCruises.com.

Frank A. Del Rio, President of Oceania Cruises, commented: "Excitement is already building in advance of Allura's debut. This beautiful new addition to our family embodies the dynamic and dazzling future of Oceania Cruises. Allura heralds the ultimate evolution of our onboard experience, and her Inaugural Season is designed to entice curious world travelers, to allow them to reconnect with well-loved favorite destinations and discover new ones for the first time."

Calling at gems in the Eastern Mediterranean, the new vessel will sail her maiden voyage on a seven-day journey from Athens to Istanbul, departing on June 8, 2025. True to her name, Allura will journey to some of the most intriguing and inspiring destinations in her opening European season with calls at iconic cities and lesser-known gems such as Cádiz, Cagliari, Messina, Palma de Mallorca, Palermo and Cinque Terre and will feature overnight stays in Istanbul, Monte Carlo, Quebec City, Montreal and New York. From her summer season in the Mediterranean, Allura will sail to Canada and New England for an extended season in North America before her premiere winter season in the Caribbean. Thoughtfully curated for seasoned global travelers, a sample of Allura's inaugural voyages may be found below:

Maiden Voyage – Athens to Istanbul, June 8, 2025, 7 days: Athens (Piraeus), Greece; Santorini, Greece; Heraklion (Crete), Greece; Rhodes, Greece; Bodrum, Turkey; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Canakkale (Troy), Turkey; Istanbul, Turkey

Flourishing Rivieras – Rome to Athens, July 29, 2025, 17 days: Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Florence/Pisa/Tuscany (Livorno), Italy; Portofino, Italy; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Barcelona, Spain; Saint-Tropez, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Cinque Terre (La Spezia), Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Sorrento/Capri, Italy; Santorini, Greece; Rhodes, Greece; Antalya, Turkey; Bodrum, Turkey; Patmos, Greece; Athens (Piraeus), Greece

Explorer's Grand Crossing – Rome to New York, August 27, 2025, 34 days: Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Salerno, Italy; Taormina (Sicily), Italy; Valletta, Malta; Ibiza, Spain; Valencia, Spain; Barcelona, Spain; Provence (Marseille), France; Cannes, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Provence (Marseille), France; Barcelona (Tarragona), Spain; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Cartagena, Spain; Málaga, Spain; Gibraltar, UK; Tangier, Morocco; Seville (Cádiz), Spain; Portimão, Portugal; Lisbon, Portugal; Funchal (Madeira), Portugal; Ponta Delgada (Azores), Portugal; Horta (Azores), Portugal; St. John's, Newfoundland; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Bar Harbor, Maine; Boston, Massachusetts; Newport, Rhode Island; New York, New York

Maples & Manors – New York to Montreal, October 18, 2025, 11 days: New York, New York; Newport, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts; Portland, Maine; Saint John (Bay of Fundy), New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Saguenay, Quebec; Quebec City, Quebec; Montreal, Quebec

Holiday Havens – Miami to Miami, December 21, 2025, 14 days: Miami, Florida; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curaçao; Kralendijk, Bonaire; St. George's, Grenada; Kingstown, St. Vincent; Bridgetown, Barbados; Roseau, Dominica; St. John's, Antigua; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Miami, Florida

On top of exquisite destination itineraries, Allura is no exception when it comes to serving The Finest Cuisine at Sea. Guests will marvel at specialty dining venues, including new signature restaurants Ember and Aquamar Kitchen, at no extra cost; and enjoy innovative and surprising cocktails served by master mixologists at the Founders Bar. On Allura, guests are called to experience the essence of greater luxury.

Norwegian Cruise Line Launches Inaugural Voyage From Maryland's Port of Baltimore
The Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore today welcomed Norwegian Cruise Line to Maryland to begin a fall and winter sailing schedule. For the first time in the company’s history, Norwegian will have two ships homeporting from Maryland: Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Sun. The ships will offer cruises from Baltimore to Canada and New England, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

“Norwegian is one of the top cruise lines in the world, and they recognize that Maryland’s Port of Baltimore is an amazing partner, offering convenient access and outstanding service,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. “The arrival of Norwegian Cruise Line heightens the impact of cruising as an economic engine for our state. The industry already generates nearly 400 jobs and $63 million in annual local business revenues.”

Norwegian Sky embarks today on a 10-day Canada and New England cruise, with visits to Martha’s Vineyard; Boston; Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Sydney, Cape Breton Island; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Saguenay, Quebec; and Quebec City. On September 21, Norwegian Sky will sail on an 11-day Canada and New England voyage. In addition, Norwegian Sun will offer warm weather escapes with a five-day Bermuda cruise November 22 and three, 12-day voyages to the Caribbean on November 27, December 9 and December 21. Norwegian Sky also will return to the Port of Baltimore in September 2024.

The Port of Baltimore has offered year-round cruising since 2009. Prior to the pandemic in 2019, the Port averaged more than 200,000 passengers annually. Following a cruise industry-wide pause during the pandemic, Baltimore’s passenger counts have strongly rebounded, with its ships currently sailing at full capacity. Baltimore’s cruise terminal is located right off Interstate 95 and offers plenty of onsite parking.

“Today marks a history-making moment for Norwegian Cruise Line, as we sail from the vibrant city of Baltimore for the first time," said David J. Herrera, president of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Our voyages from the Port of Baltimore offer guests the best that cruising on the East Coast has to offer, with a convenient homeport option that allows them to experience both the breathtaking fall foliage of Canada and New England and warm weather winter escapes in Bermuda and the Caribbean. As we continue to grow our fleet of now 19 ships, we actively look for new opportunities and communities to introduce the Norwegian Cruise Line experience. This fall, we’ll also celebrate the one-year anniversary of our Military Appreciation program, where we honor active and retired service members with exclusive offers and onboard experiences. Given the strong military community in Baltimore and the surrounding areas, we look forward to having these service members participate in our program and join us at sea soon.”

Norwegian Cruise Line is an industry leader, pioneering freedom and flexibility and continuously raising the standards of contemporary cruising with award-winning and varied food and beverage concepts; world-class entertainment; and outstanding service. Norwegian Cruise Line sails to 400 destinations around the world across its fleet of 19 ships. Norwegian Cruise Line now adds Baltimore to its impressive line-up of more than 50 convenient global homeport options.

More than 40 million people are within a six-hour drive of Baltimore, and two-thirds of the nation’s population are within an overnight drive of Baltimore.

“We’re very happy to have Norwegian, one of the top cruise lines in the world, sailing from the Port of Baltimore,” said Maryland Port Administration - Port of Baltimore Interim Acting Executive Director Brian Miller. “Our cruise terminal’s unique location allows for easy access for cruise passengers from many Eastern and Midwestern states. Our local market is also one of the wealthiest in the nation. These are significant reasons why we’ve been successful as a cruise port.”

The Port of Baltimore generates about 15,300 direct jobs, with nearly 140,000 jobs overall linked to Port activities. The Port is first among the nation’s ports for autos and light truck volume, roll on/roll off farm and construction machinery and imported gypsum. The Port is responsible for nearly $3.3 billion in personal wages and salaries, $2.6 billion in business revenue and $395 million in state and local tax revenue annually.

Seabourn's New Expedition Ship, Seabourn Pursuit, Unveils Art Collection
Seabourn, the leader in ultra-luxury ocean voyages and expedition travel, and renowned for creating exquisitely designed spaces aboard its ships that exemplify themes of exploration and adventure, has unveiled an extraordinary collection of custom art on board Seabourn Pursuit, its newly launched, purpose-built expedition vessel. The extensive, permanent installation includes more than 700 artworks and takes guests on a curated journey across the seven seas.

Seabourn's expedition vessels, Seabourn Venture and Seabourn Pursuit, bear strong resemblance as sister ships that share the same DNA in design. However, art stands out as one of the most prominent and character-defining points of differentiation between them. Commissioned by Seabourn design partner, Tihany Design, led by Founder & Principal Adam D. Tihany and Partner Alessia Genova, the atelier engaged London-based curatorial studio Double Decker to develop a sophisticated, thoughtful and bespoke art collection exclusively for Seabourn Pursuit, as a completely unique, curatorial expression of the designers' vision: "an expedition of discoveries." It features custom art that masterfully celebrates the wonders of our planet and the great explorers of our time, infused with geographic inspiration. By intention, the result—bold, more colorful and playful with a modern attitude—markedly contrasts with the more subtle, sophisticated storytelling of Seabourn Venture's art program by French studio Atelier 27.

Working with artists, designers and fabricators globally to conjure the vision and tell these stories, Double Decker co-directors Wilhelm Finger and Melita Skamnaki pursued elegant yet brave works that create a sense of connection with those who sailed before, to enhance the guests' own sense of discovery in the present moment. With hundreds of pieces on board, each conjuring a unique experience and connection with its surroundings, art invites passengers to be curious and treats them to powerful and unforgettable visual adventures along Seabourn Pursuit's dramatic routes. The ship itself has emerged as a new frontier of appreciation for art enthusiasts at sea.

"We had a vision to deliver a dynamic and harmonious experience of exploration by creating a unique synergy to unite the masterful interior design by Tihany Design and the bespoke art collection with the powerful, state-of-the-art capabilities on this purpose-built luxury expedition ship," said Natalya Leahy, president of Seabourn. "As a result, our guests will experience an unexpected layer of imaginative discoveries and be inspired by the smallest details, symbols, hidden messages in every corner to provoke a deep sense of personal exploration and appreciation. Seabourn Pursuit's art collection will elevate the onboard experience as guests embark on their own journey to interact with new environments that in some cases no humans have seen before."

Among the many works and themes to captivate and catch the eyes of Seabourn Pursuit guests:

• Magical Sky (Deck 4 – Main Atrium) – Sculpture installation exclusively commissioned for Seabourn Pursuit, this captivating piece was envisioned and designed by curator Double Decker. inspired by their impression of the sky's alluring shapes and colors visible along the ship's journeys. The concave dome atop a plinth invites passengers to look inside and discover multiple layers and reflections within, connecting them in an abstract yet moving way to the sky under which they travel. Produced by custom fabricator Cory Barr. DOUBLE DECKER 2023

• Water Drops (Deck 9 – Forward Stairs) – Newly commissioned pieces in a series featuring Murano blown glass from Milan-based 6:AM Glassworks bear the feelings of water, sea and ice. 6:AM GLASSWORKS 2023

• 0° SERIES (Deck 4 – The Restaurant) – Stunning photographic collection showcases tropical flowers in ice to create unexpected, enchanting dialogue between Amazonian flora and Polar ice. Together with artist Tharien Smith, Boyd's extremely elaborate technique freezes flower arrangements in blocks of ice; after several days, they are put into rivers or lakes, and the process causes cracks and bubbles to form inside the ice blocks, the flowers part of an active transformation. Only then do Boyd and Smith begin taking photos. Randomness, intention, enchanting beauty and dynamic unpredictability are at play. BRUCE BOYD 2023

• Oscillation (Deck 5 – Colonnade) - Renowned South African artist Chris Soal created the wall sculpture Oscillation as a sustainable work comprised of metal bottle tops, coiled in a rope-like pattern, and expanding out from a central point. From afar, this work has a strong luxury and design aesthetic, which becomes tactile as the viewer moves closer to discover its surprising details. CHRIS SOAL 2023

• Harvest (Deck 5 – Colonnade) - Italian painter Gabriel Carucci encourages more discovery with seemingly simple, geometric block patterns, revealing on closer inspection carefully selected sections of intricate embroidery and other whimsical textile elements, creating subtle tonal shifts. Tessellations of flat tints of color occupy the surface of the paintings, merging with forms of intertwined threads giving rise to abstract motions. The labor-intensive nature of this practice deliberately evokes visual cues that direct the painted surface and subsequently the viewer's perception. GABRIEL CARUCCI 2023

• Amazônia (Deck 6 – Seabourn Square) – Exclusively commissioned for Seabourn Pursuit, the acrylic paintings of celebrated Brazilian artist James Kudo depict architectural spaces, animals, flora and fauna, in a vivid palette of acrylic paint. Composed of cleanly delineated forms, from a distance these pieces appear graphic, yet on closer inspection they unveil a painterly texture. JAMES KUDO 2023

• Canyon Fall II (Deck 6 – Seabourn Square) – Celebrated London-based sculptor Joseph Harrington, created this cast glass sculpture to evoke an iceberg with brilliant intricacies within, to delight and intrigue the viewer, allowing texture, light and sense of mass to continuously play. JOSEPH HARRINGTON 2022

• Blue & Green Anthropophora (Deck 9 – Sky Bar) – Created from glazed stoneware with PVC rubber coating, this artwork presents a bold color and bulbous, textural style that grounds us back in the world of contemporary art. It plays its own game, mimicking the forms of ancient artefacts, such as a Greek amphora. MAXWELL MUSTARDO 2022

• Beyond the Sky (Deck 9 – Constellation Lounge) -- Up-and-coming artist Sogon Kim created twin glass pieces Beyond the Sky to reflect sea and sky. Incorporating silver leaf and metal oxides, this work explores glass as a conduit for color and light. SOGON KIM 2022

• Artifacts Collection (Seabourn Square and Suites) – An eclectic, mesmerizing collection that evokes unique wondrous wildlife and natural phenomena unearthed by pioneering expeditions.

• Etched Glass Mural Partitions (Expedition Lounge) – This set of commissioned glass installations – Amazonian Moon and Arctic Moon – celebrates the moon's resonating beauty, magic and enduring presence in night skies from the Amazon to the Arctic. Panels feature etched glass textures, colored glass, special finishes of gold and silver leaf, and the moon depicted in 3D with flower and silver-infused glass.

• Graphic Glass Panels (Atrium Staircase) – Inspired by the winding coastlines of Seabourn destinations. Commissioned to re-interpret the natural coastal geography seen on the vessel's voyages.

Disney Treasure Maiden Voyage Set for December 2024
Disney Cruise Line’s new ship, the Disney Treasure, will unlock the far-reaching realms of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel and embrace dynamic tales from beloved Disney Parks attractions, through captivating and immersive experiences on the high seas.

The Disney Treasure, the sister ship to the Disney Wish that launched in 2022, will embark on its maiden voyage, a seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida, on Dec. 21, 2024, followed by an inaugural season of seven-night itineraries to the Eastern and Western Caribbean from Port Canaveral. Disney Cruise Line Castaway Club members can book a Disney Treasure cruise as early as Sept. 12, 2023, and bookings will open to all guests on Sept. 20, 2023.

The Disney Treasure will harness a design concept that calls upon the bold and heartwarming stories of beloved Disney characters. Adventure will serve as the architectural and thematic foundation of the newest Disney Cruise Line ship, in honor of Walt Disney’s legendary passion for travel and exploration. On board, guests will find fan-favorite spaces from the Disney Wish, infused with this theme of adventure and inspired by memorable Disney stories like “Aladdin,” “Coco” and “Zootopia.”

In addition to the return of two beloved Disney Cruise Line restaurant concepts found on the Disney Wish, the Disney Treasure will introduce a brand-new family entertainment restaurant.

• Plaza de Coco will be the world’s first theatrical dining experience themed to the Disney and Pixar film, “Coco.” The story of Miguel and his familia will continue where it left off on screen as they gather in Mariachi Plaza to take guests on two nights of colorful, music-filled journeys that celebrate family memories and togetherness with festive dinner menus of modern twists on traditional Mexican fare and a lineup of live entertainment.

• Worlds of Marvel, Disney Cruise Line’s immersive Marvel-themed dining experience, celebrates favorite Avengers characters and stories, including an amazing interaction with Spider-Man. This high-tech venue aboard the Disney Treasure will offer a worldly menu and special entertainment, including two separate nights with distinct shows and dining, all inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

• 1923, named for the founding year of Walt Disney Animation Studios, will celebrate the profound impact of Disney’s animation legacy and bring to life Walt Disney’s love of adventure through a nostalgic collection of exploration-themed artwork from both modern and classic animated films. Steeped in the glamour of Hollywood’s golden age, the venue’s upscale ambiance will complement a sophisticated menu inspired by the fusion of cultural flavors found throughout California and designed with families in mind.

The Disney Treasure will continue Disney Cruise Line’s innovative family dining concept, where guests experience one of three imaginative restaurants each night, accompanied by a dedicated service team that joins them throughout the voyage, adding a level of familiarity to their dining experience.

In addition to three main family restaurants, the new ship will feature quick bites, casual dining, 24-hour room service, specialty treats, gourmet cafes, upscale dining just for adults, and Jumbeaux’s Sweets, inspired by the popular ice cream parlor featured in Disney’s “Zootopia.”

Captivating Family Entertainment

Families will come together to enjoy both new and timeless, beloved Disney Cruise Line entertainment aboard the Disney Treasure, immersing guests in worlds both real and imagined, through interactive storytelling, character encounters and Broadway-style theatrical adaptations of inspiring Disney adventures.

The Grand Hall will be the key to unlocking a trove of captivating new entertainment, including dedicated shows, character encounters and musical performances. As the story unfolds for guests on the Disney Treasure, the “Aladdin”-themed Grand Hall will serve as the ship’s most prominent gathering space, inspiring wonder and exploration during each voyage.

Named for the lioness matriarch from Disney’s “The Lion King,” Sarabi will be a central hub for a multitude of daytime activities and adult-exclusive evening entertainment. The uniquely designed two-story space will evoke the natural beauty and openness of the savanna and will feature cruise line classics such as “Match Your Mate” and “Family Time Game Show,” and new favorites that debuted on the Disney Wish like “Villains Game Night.”

The Walt Disney Theatre is an opulent show palace that will come alive with original Broadway-style productions developed exclusively for Disney Cruise Line – “Beauty and the Beast” and “Disney Seas the Adventure” – both Disney Cruise Line fan-favorites. The former will bring Belle’s enchanting adventure to life on stage by incorporating imaginative elements from the live-action film and the classic animated feature, while the latter will be an original musical spectacular that features beloved characters from Disney and Pixar stories alongside rousing renditions of iconic Disney songs. More details about a third, all-new show coming to the Disney Treasure will be released soon.

Hero Zone and the Wonderland and Never Land Cinemas, popular spaces from the Disney Wish, will provide family entertainment aboard the Disney Treasure. Hero Zone will offer a progressive sports and recreation venue where action-packed physical challenges will blend with game show-style competitions, while the Wonderland and Never Land Cinemas, intimate, luxe screening rooms, will elevate the onboard cinematic experience for guests to watch first-run films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and more.

Fun in the Sun on the Upper Decks

Surrounded by both the open ocean and sky, the adventures will continue on the upper decks of the Disney Treasure with three distinct districts offering fun water activities, quick and casual dining options and plenty of space to relax and soak up the sun.

In an expansive district themed to Mickey and friends, families will discover seven pools staggered among tiered decks, an abundance of luxe lounge chairs, an imaginative take on fast-casual fare with a festive character twist and Disney Cruise Line’s own attraction at sea, AquaMouse.

AquaMouse: Curse of the Golden Egg will plunge guests into the world of Mickey Mouse animated shorts. Suspended high above the upper decks, powerful jets will propel two-person ride vehicles through 760 feet of winding tubes, offering breathtaking views of the ocean and the ship below. Onboard the Disney Treasure, AquaMouse will introduce an all-new storyline that follows Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on a zany misadventure into an ancient temple. Guests will journey with the pair as they embark on a tour of mysterious ruins for a glimpse of the legendary treasure within and encounter a series of hilarious mishaps and booby traps that take the trek in unexpected directions.

Like aboard the Disney Wish, little ones will delight in a Toy Story-themed district designed especially for families with toddlers and young children that will include a splash zone, wading pool, family waterslide and smoothie bar.

In addition, adults can indulge in sun-drenched serenity at Quiet Cove, a peaceful refuge dedicated to lounging, sipping and soaking. Set away from the bustle of family activities, this secluded adults-only district will feature a luxurious infinity pool, poolside bar and chic cafe.

Relaxing Retreats and Exciting Exploration for Adults

Aboard the Disney Treasure, adults will explore, relax, dine and play with venues and entertainment tailored just for them. These adult-only experiences will offer elevated interpretations of Disney adventures and Disney Parks attractions, with sophisticated theming ranging from subtle inspiration to full immersion, allowing guests to customize their vacation according to their interests.

Periscope Pub will be Disney Cruise Line’s first venue inspired by the spellbinding adventure of Walt Disney’s 1954 film, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” and the celebrated Disney Parks attraction that was open at Walt Disney World from 1971 to 1994. Guests will dive into the mythical depths of uncharted oceans amidst the submarine-styled interiors and take a look at the watery world below through an intriguing glass ceiling. In addition to watching the latest sports games, explorers at the Periscope Pub will encounter a menu of craft brews and light bites.

Adventure awaits guests beneath a tangle of untamed foliage at Skipper Society, a centrally located outpost that will feature refined nods to the iconic Jungle Cruise attraction at Disney theme parks around the globe. The venue’s natural colorways and camp-style furnishings, paired with sly tributes to the trusty, dry-witted skippers who lead world-famous tours across treacherous waterways, will offer an elevated, yet playful atmosphere where guests will indulge in themed cocktails and light snacks.

Fan-favorite, adult-exclusive dining locations will also return on the Disney Treasure. Guests will savor gourmet meals and exceptional beverages at Palo Steakhouse, Enchanté by Chef Arnaud Lallement and The Rose, an upscale suite of epicurean excellence exclusively for adults, inspired by the elegant icons of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Beauty and the Beast.”

• The popular Palo Steakhouse will come to the Disney Treasure, combining the relaxed sophistication of authentic Italian dining with the classic refinement of a modern steakhouse in a genteel setting inspired by Cogsworth, the tale’s majordomo-turned-enchanted-clock.

• Enchanté will offer the most luxurious dining experience on board, featuring a gourmet menu crafted by three-Michelin-starred Chef Arnaud Lallement. This romantic and intimate venue will evoke the dazzling spirit of the film’s candelabra maître d’, Lumiere.

• The Rose will be a chic lounge at the entrance of Palo Steakhouse and Enchanté. Inspired by the fateful flower at the heart of the story, The Rose will be an idyllic setting for a pre-dinner aperitif or after-dinner cocktail.

• Senses Spa is a tranquil oasis offering indulgent spa and beauty treatments, drawing on the serenity of natural elements to promote pampering and relaxation. The spa will feature private treatment rooms, lavish spa villas, and steam and aromatherapy rooms, while the reimagined Senses Fitness will offer state-of-the-art exercise and wellness facilities.

Other adult-exclusive spaces on board the Disney Treasure will include the Quiet Cove pool district, a variety of gourmet cafes, relaxed bars and upscale lounges, and more.

Artful Accommodations

The luxurious accommodations aboard the Disney Treasure will strike an inviting balance between modern design and nostalgic charm with a fresh, natural color scheme and custom artwork that will entice guests to peer beyond their staterooms into fantastical worlds from heartwarming Disney adventures.

The staterooms on board are built with families in mind and feature upscale amenities. Most will include Disney Cruise Line’s signature split-bath concept, and many will offer the option of a connecting door that adjoins staterooms to accommodate larger groups voyaging together – with 451 connecting doors in all. In addition, most of the ship’s 1,256 staterooms will offer an ocean view — including 877 (70 percent) with a verandah.

The Disney Treasure will elevate the concierge experience for those guests seeking luxury and a premium level of dedicated service. The concierge-level staterooms and suites will offer both adventure and indulgence, and an exclusive concierge lounge with a private sun deck that serves as the perfect place to relax, sip a cocktail and enjoy a variety of food and beverages throughout the day. Onboard the Disney Treasure, concierge-level suites will feature elegant interiors inspired by the majestic grasslands Simba calls home in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “The Lion King.”

The adventure-inspired accommodations aboard the Disney Treasure will also extend to four royal suites that pay tribute to the faithful feline companions of daring Disney characters. The upscale designs will include the Bagheera Royal Suites, honoring the noble panther from “The Jungle Book” and the lush forests he calls home, and the Rajah Royal Suites, themed to Princess Jasmine’s protective tiger who dwells in the royal palace of Agrabah in the classic Disney film, “Aladdin.”

Like the Disney Wish, the Disney Treasure is being constructed at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany and will also be powered by liquefied natural gas. At approximately 144,000 gross tons, the Disney Treasure will be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.73 + 0.13%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 97.70 - 0.63%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 16.40 - 1.68%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When the SS France was built for the French Line in 1960 she cost $80 million. How much did Norwegian Cruise Line pay for the classic liner when they acquired her in 1979 to sail as the SS Norway?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the last cruise ship to sail the Haifa to New York route for Israel's Zim lines and when was her final crossing on that route?

Answer - The last Zim ship to sail from Haifa to NYC was the Shalom, which was most recently laid up as Regent Sun. courtesy of David Rodstein, Philadephia


Cruise News - August 28, 2023

Holland America Line's 2025 Europe Season Focuses on Longer Cruises
Holland America Line's 2025 European season will allow travelers to broaden their horizons like never before on the most diverse, destination-focused itineraries in the industry. With an increase in cruises over 10 days, more sailings to Iceland and a combined 62 overnight calls or late-night departures in leading European cities, Holland America Line is enticing travelers to become immersed in the culture, history and landscapes of the region.

New in 2025, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, returns as a homeport for Holland America Line, hosting Rotterdam and Nieuw Statendam on roundtrip voyages to Northern Europe and the Baltic. The cruise line also features more itineraries to trending hot spots like the Holy Land region, Iberia and Iceland. A new 28-day "Arctic Circle Crossing" Legendary Voyage showcases the pristine backdrop of Greenland's glaciers and wildlife with five calls in the country and visits to Iceland, North Cape and Scotland.

"For Holland America Line, Europe 2025 is all about longer cruises, extended time in port and offering the most diverse range of itineraries from weeklong vacations to monthlong explorations," said Beth Bodensteiner, chief commercial officer of Holland America Line. "We have 10 departure cities this season, and we are excited to be back homeporting in Rotterdam with two ships, deepening our connection to our founding city. Anyone looking to explore Europe in-depth will be able to find a Holland America Line cruise tailored to their interests, whether it's beach, history, nature, architecture, fjords, castles or cuisine."

From April to November, Oosterdam joins Nieuw Statendam and Rotterdam for a full season in Europe, while Zuiderdam sails the popular 35-day "Voyage of the Vikings." The port-intensive itineraries range from seven to 42 days and are designed for destination immersion. Spanning the entire region, cruises visit the Baltic, British Isles, Canary Islands, French and Spanish rivieras, Israel, Mediterranean and Northern Europe, including Iceland, Greenland and Norway.

Highlights of Holland America Line's 2025 Europe cruising season include:

10 Departure Cities, Including Rotterdam: Rotterdam and Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Barcelona, Spain; Boston, Massachusetts; Civitavecchia (Rome) and Trieste (Venice), Italy; Dover (London), England; Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Reykjavik, Iceland; and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

New in 2025, Holland America Line is adding 10 roundtrip Dover itineraries aboard Nieuw Statendam ranging from 14 to 28 days, offering a convenient embarkation homeport for British guests.

11 Overnight Ports: Alexandria, Egypt; Barcelona; Haifa (Tel Aviv), Israel; Istanbul, Turkey; Newhaven (Edinburgh), Scotland; Reykjavik; Piraeus (Athens) and Rhodes, Greece; Stockholm, Sweden; Trieste (Venice); and Valletta, Malta.

32 Late-Evening Departure Cities (between 10 p.m. and midnight): Alesund, Norway; Ashdod (Jerusalem) and Haifa (Tel Aviv), Israel; Barcelona and Malaga, Spain; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Cannes, France; Civitavecchia (Rome), Portoferraio, Portofino and Trieste (Venice), Italy; Dubrovnik and Korcula, Croatia; Dún Laoghaire (Dublin), Ireland; Funchal, Madeira; Gibraltar, UK; Greenock (Glasgow) and South Queensferry (Edinburgh), Scotland; Kotor, Montenegro; Kusadasi, Turkey; Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Lisbon; Liverpool and Portland (Weymouth), England; Kerkira (Corfu) and Mykonos, Greece; Port Said (Cairo), Egypt; Reykjavik; St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada; Tallinn, Estonia; Valletta; and Warnemunde (Berlin), Germany.

Northern Europe:

• Rotterdam returns to Northern Europe in 2025 cruising out of its namesake city with roundtrip sailings from Rotterdam:

• Seven-day Norway and Denmark; Norwegian Fjords

• Seven- or 14-day Norway and Scotland

• Seven-day between Rotterdam and Reykjavik to Norway and Iceland

• 14-day Norway, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Estonia and Sweden

• 14-day Norway Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland and Sweden

Nieuw Statendam offers Northern Europe cruises to the Baltic, British Isles, Norway up to the North Cape, and the Northern Isles of Scotland and Iceland. The itineraries range from 14 to 28 days and sail roundtrip from Rotterdam.

NEW Legendary Voyage: A 28-day "Arctic Circle Crossing" departs June 29, roundtrip from Rotterdam. The cruise features 15 ports in Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Scotland and England; passage through the Arctic Circle to the North Cape; scenic cruising through Iceland's fjords; and four maiden calls in Greenland: Ittoqqortoormiit, Sisimiut, Ilulissat and Nuuk. 14-Day "Arctic Circle Crossing: Edinburgh Evening Stay" is roundtrip from Rotterdam. Highlights of the cruise include spending Summer Solstice at the North Cape with 24 hours of sunlight, along with a total of five calls in Norway. The cruise also visits the Shetland Islands, England and Scotland, with a late-night departure from Edinburgh.

Mediterranean:

• Oosterdam will sail the entire 2025 Europe season in the Mediterranean on cruises from four homeports: Piraeus (Athens), Barcelona, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Trieste (Venice). The itineraries range from seven- to 14-days and cover the eastern and western Mediterranean, including Albania, Croatia, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey.

• Nieuw Statendam sails 14-day cruises between Barcelona and Civitavecchia (Rome) and Piraeus (Athens), and roundtrip from Piraeus. The itineraries head to the eastern Med, including Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Croatia, Malta, Montenegro and Greece.

• Nieuw Statendam explores the Holy Land in October on a 14-day cruise roundtrip from Piraeus (Athens) that visits Cyprus, Israel, Turkey and Greece, with overnights at Haifa and Rhodes.

Canary Islands:

• Nieuw Statendam visits the Canary Islands on a 14-day Canary Island Enchantment with Morocco & Portugal cruise departing April 20, 2025, roundtrip from Rotterdam, also including ports in Morocco, Madeira, Portugal and England.

Transatlantic:

• The popular "Voyage of the Vikings" returns in 2025 aboard Zuiderdam. Departing July 19, the 35-day adventure sails roundtrip from Boston and calls at ports in Maine, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the Netherlands, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Norway. The itinerary also is offered in 17- and 18-day segments from Boston to Rotterdam or from Rotterdam to Boston.

• In April, Rotterdam and Nieuw Statendam cross the Atlantic Ocean from Fort Lauderdale to Rotterdam; Oosterdam crosses from Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona.

• In October and November Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam and Oosterdam sail to Fort Lauderdale via Civitavecchia, Rotterdam and Barcelona, respectively.

Carnival Cruise Line Announce New Grand Bahama Cruise Port Destination Will Be Called “Celebration Key"
Cue the Junkanoo band, drumroll please… Carnival Cruise Line has announced that the name of its new destination in the Bahamas is… Celebration Key.

As Carnival gets ready to open itineraries in late September for cruises that will call on its highly-anticipated exclusive cruise port destination on Grand Bahama, it revealed the name – Celebration Key – to guests, employees, travel advisors and Bahamian officials today. Celebration Key is the first port destination exclusively designed for Carnival Cruise Line guests and its name is based on the vision for the destination to be a celebration of all that Carnival and The Bahamas has to offer for a memorable vacation. Once complete, it will be capable of welcoming two million guests each year.

“We are working very closely with the Government of The Bahamas and the Grand Bahama Port Authority to ensure that we are highlighting the best of Grand Bahama and its culture, combined with fun like only Carnival can provide,” said Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy. “Invoking the natural beauty of Grand Bahama, every day at Celebration Key will be a celebration of our guests’ own making with a variety of experiences and something for everyone.”

Grand Bahama is a northern island of The Bahamas and is known its breathtaking beaches, lush vegetation, and friendly people. Celebration Key will offer a uniquely Bahamian experience with an abundance of features and amenities, including a one-mile stretch of white-sand beach, as well as Bahamian-operated retail, food and beverage options for Carnival guests to enjoy. For the ultimate convenience and maximum enjoyment time, the adjacent cruise pier will be able to accommodate up to two of Carnival’s Excel-class ships simultaneously to allow guests to walk off the ship and arrive at Celebration Key. A groundbreaking ceremony for the destination was held in May 2022 and design, engineering and construction work is now underway.

In late September, Carnival plans to announce further details of the destination, along with opening for sale the first itineraries on at least ten ships from multiple homeports that will include a visit to Celebration Key, with the first cruises calling on the destination in July 2025.

Cunard Partners With Pop Art Phenomenon Mr. Brainwash for Unique Queen Elizabeth Mural
Cunard has raised the anchor on an exciting collaboration with pop art phenomenon Mr. Brainwash as the luxury cruise line continues to champion artistic excellence at sea.

Thierry Guetta, AKA Mr. Brainwash, joined guests and VIPs aboard Queen Elizabeth in his hometown of Los Angeles yesterday (August 22) for an exclusive ceremony in which he officially unveiled a new mural in the ship's Garden Lounge.

"We are thrilled to have partnered with Mr. Brainwash for Queen Elizabeth's incredible new mural."

The mural is an intricate patchwork of iconic Cunard marketing posters from the 1920s, with Mr. Brainwash spray-painting a unique finishing touch, in his signature graffiti style, during the ceremony to celebrate the best of Cunard and contemporary art.

The bespoke installation "Cunard x Mr. Brainwash" was commissioned in partnership with Clarendon Fine Art, who've represented the leading street artist in the UK since 2020 and whose galleries appear across the Cunard fleet of ships.

Three innovative limited editions have also been created which will be exclusively available to guests and feature each of the three Cunard Queens. Showcasing the iconic vessels, as well as Mr. Brainwash's unique style, the editions will offer guests an opportunity to acquire a unique moment in Cunard's history.

Yesterday's event marked the conclusion of Queen Elizabeth's arts-focused Pacific Coastal sailing from Vancouver to Los Angeles, which offered several Mr. Brainwash-inspired seminars as well as a screening of Banksy's Academy-nominated 'Exit Through the Gift shop' documentary featuring Mr. Brainwash. The largest collection of the artist's original artwork and limited-edition pieces ever seen at sea were also brought onboard for guests to view and purchase in Queen Elizabeth's art gallery.

The Los Angeles-based artist's work is held in public and private collections across the globe, including in all 75 of Clarendon Fine Art's UK and USA galleries as well as across the Cunard fleet. His 'Long Live the King' portrait of King Charles III, released to coincide with the Coronation, was a record release demonstrating the remarkable levels of interest in his work.

Some of his work also features in private collections belonging to the likes of Barack Obama, Al Pacino, Lionel Richie, and Rihanna, and he has also worked on charity collaborations with Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama.

Katie McAlister, President of Cunard, said: "We are thrilled to have partnered with Mr. Brainwash for Queen Elizabeth's incredible new mural and it is a privilege to be associated with such an acclaimed and innovative artist. We always strive to provide guests with enriching and unique experiences on board and this one-of-a-kind masterpiece will certainly be enjoyed by our many art lovers."

Thierry Guetta, AKA Mr. Brainwash, who fronts the pop-up Mr. Brainwash Art Museum in Beverly Hills, added: "I am ecstatic to collaborate with Cunard because throughout history, they have proven to be timeless and consistent. This piece of mine holds massive significance. It is very special to me because it merges two worlds together and represents artistic expression on a grand scale. I believe creating accessible art is beautiful because it has the ability to enrich an individual's journey and ignite their imagination no matter where they are in the world or what they are doing. If I can manage to even bring that expression to the high seas, there truly is no limit to where art can go. This unveiling is more than an event; it marks something that will inspire those who see it immediately and for generations to come. In the future, I will look back on this collaboration with beautiful memories attached to it. This collaboration is beautiful."

Helen Swaby, CEO of Clarendon Fine Art, said: "We are proud and privileged that pop art phenomenon Mr. Brainwash has been invited into this unique collaboration with Cunard. For more than a decade we have had the pleasure of entertaining and educating guests aboard Cunard's luxury liners, and ever since we first introduced Mr. Brainwash to guests there has been an overwhelming level of interest and love for this work. In recent times we have rediscovered the importance of positivity and fun and his work has struck a chord with art collectors and art lovers helping us to connect with the lighter side of life. This moment marks the next step in Mr. Brainwash's meteoric rise to fame with his first ever mural taking up residency aboard a cruise ship. We hope that guests on the beautiful Queen Elizabeth enjoy the rare opportunity to view this uplifting and life-affirming artwork by one of the best-loved street artists of modern times."

Carnival Cruise Line Announces Duo Who Will Lead Texas-Sized Fun Aboard All-New Carnival Jubilee
As excitement builds around the arrival of Carnival Cruise Line’s next new ship, Carnival Jubilee, the cruise line today announced Matthew Boyd will serve as Entertainment Director and Kyndall “Fire” Magyar as Cruise Director for the ship’s inaugural season. Together, the two will lead the teams that deliver all the fun guests will find aboard the new ship when it begins sailing on Dec. 23, 2023 from its homeport of Galveston, Tex.

“Watching their dedication come to life on board Carnival Jubilee’s sister ships, I know Kyndall and Matthew are perfectly suited to deliver Texas-sized fun that maximizes the capabilities of this spectacular new ship and upholds our high standards for entertainment,” said Chris Nelson, vice president of entertainment.

Both Magyar and Boyd are accomplished leaders who bring a combined 20 years of Carnival experience to the teams they will lead.

Magyar is a Texas native who has been working on Carnival ships since 2016. She most recently served as cruise director aboard Mardi Gras. She was also part of the inaugural team for Carnival Horizon and served as the cruise director of Carnival Vista when the ship returned to service in 2021. She is elated to be part of the inaugural Carnival Jubilee family and bring her home to Texas.

Boyd was recently named Carnival’s 2023 Entertainment Director of the year. He has been part of the Carnival family since 2010 and has served as an entertainment director aboard several ships since 2018. He most recently led the entertainment team aboard Carnival Celebration. He is honored to be the inaugural Entertainment Director of Carnival Jubilee and excited to present guests with all the new entertainment offerings being developed for the new ship.

Carnival Jubilee joins her sisters Carnival Celebration and Mardi Gras as the third ship in the fleet powered by a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system. Carnival Jubilee will debut unique and immersive ocean-themed experiences in two new zones, Currents and The Shores. Carnival Jubilee will be home to other features already popular on board her sister ships, like BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster and a transformational three-deck atrium that offers expansive views during the day and doubles as an entertainment venue at night with movable LED screens and theatrical lighting.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.71 - 0.00%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 98.32 - 0.96%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 16.68 - 1.94%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the last cruise ship to sail the Haifa to New York route for Israel's Zim lines and when was her final crossing on that route?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
If you were departing on a transatlantic crossing from Pier 90 in New York City in the early 1950's, what shipping company would you most likely have been traveling on?

Answer - In the 1950's when you leave the pier 90, you were on a CUNARD's Ocean Liner.. courtesy of Thomas Mousse, Italy


Cruise News - August 21, 2023

Holland America Announces New 28-Day Legendary Voyage in 2025
From trending travel destinations to seldom-visited locales, Holland America Line's new 28-day "Arctic Circle Crossing: Greenland & Iceland" is a Legendary Voyage to Greenland, Iceland and Norway. Departing June 29, 2025, aboard Nieuw Statendam, the journey is inspired by the routes of Norse explorer Erik the Red who founded the first European settlement in Greenland.

Sailing roundtrip from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the cruise features 15 ports across five countries, passage through the Arctic Circle, an overnight in Reykjavik, Iceland, scenic cruising through Iceland and Greenland's spellbinding fjords and four maiden calls in Greenland. Cruisers on the "Arctic Circle Crossing" will set sail on one of Holland America Line's most intensive explorations of this region ever offered.

"Legendary Voyages give us the opportunity to create longer cruises that delve deeper into a region and include ports we don't normally visit, like the four maiden calls in Greenland on the new Arctic Circle Crossing," said Beth Bodensteiner, chief commercial officer of Holland America Line. "We're taking this itinerary up to Norway's North Cape, then heading farther north in Greenland on both coasts and adding amazing opportunities in Iceland. At 28 days, it's the perfect length to showcase this area and give our guests an experience that goes beyond a brief introduction to the countries."

Highlights of the 'Arctic Circle Crossing' Legendary Voyage

• 28 days, departing June 29, 2025, roundtrip from Rotterdam.

• 15 calls in five countries (listed in order of visit): Ålesund, Trondheim, Honningsvåg (North Cape) and Tromsø, Norway; Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresbysund), Greenland; Akureyri and Isafjördur Iceland; Nuuk (Godthåb), Sisimiut (Holsteinsborg), Ilulissat (Jakobshavn) and Nanortalik, Greenland; Reykjavik, Iceland (overnight); Stornoway (Isle of Lewis) and Invergordon (Inverness), Scotland; and Dover (London), England.

• Maiden Calls, all in Greenland: Nuuk, Ittoqqortoormiit, Sisimiut, Ilulissat.

• Crossing the Arctic Circle at several points throughout the voyage.

• Overnight call July 20 and 21 in Reykjavik.

• Scenic cruising opportunities: North Cape (Norway); Jan Mayen Island, a Norwegian volcanic island in the Arctic Ocean; Scoresbysund (Greenland); and Eyjafjördur and Ísafjardardjúr (Iceland).

What is a 'Legendary Voyage'?

These lengthier cruises, which range from 25 to 59 days, combine the ceremony of Holland America Line's Grand Voyages while focusing on a singular region. They visit some of the most unique ports while offering guests an in-depth exploration. Shipboard programming is specially curated to share insights into the history and culture of the destinations visited.

Legendary Voyages are offered on a variety of the line's perfectly sized ships where guests enjoy the "best of" Grand Voyages on-board programming such as iconic theme parties, memorable sailaways and classic cruise activities to further enhance the experience.

Who is Erik the Red?

Norse explorer Erik Thorvaldsson, known as Erik the Red, was exiled from Iceland and set out to explore the land to the west, which he named Greenland. After establishing the first European settlement on an island near Qaqortoq, he returned to Iceland to bring more settlers back to Greenland. He is the father of Leif Erikson, one of the first Europeans to reach North America.

Celebrity Cruises Announces New Itineraries Bringing Four Ships to Three Florida Ports
Celebrity Cruises, the award-winning premium cruise line pioneering resort travel at sea, is thrilled to unveil all-new Caribbean offerings for the Winter 2024-2025 season on board four stellar ships – Celebrity Apex, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Equinox, and Celebrity Summit. Embarking from three Florida ports: Central Florida's Port Canaveral, West Florida's Port Tampa Bay, and South Florida's Port Everglades, travelers will enjoy more than 40 new itineraries, all open for booking on August 22, 2023. Catering to the diverse needs of today's consumer, the new program offers a wide range of experiences, from rejuvenating quick getaways to weekly 7-night cruises, and up to 9-night escapes. Transporting guests to tropical hotspots from Belize and Bimini to Grand Cayman and San Juan, a select number of itineraries also offer the opportunity to visit Perfect Day at CocoCay.

"We are so excited to unveil this new program. It provides our guests with more options to experience the natural beauty of the Caribbean, which is elevated by our personalized experiences on board," says Laura Hodges Bethge, President of Celebrity Cruises. "As part of this expansion, we are thrilled to add Port Canaveral to our list of home ports – it is a perfect market to reach a wide mix of both in- and out-of-state travelers looking for fun in the Caribbean sun."

More Opportunities to Sail from South Florida and Visit Perfect Day at CocoCay As part of the new program, Celebrity will expand its offerings from Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades, to include more opportunities to set sail on two award-winning ships: Celebrity Apex and Celebrity Summit. From October 23, 2024, to March 8, 2025, travelers can enjoy five new sailings on Apex, ranging from 6- to 7-night itineraries visiting destinations like St. Maarten, San Juan, Grand Cayman, and Mexico, as well as select sailings to Perfect Day at CocoCay.

A vibrant private island paradise nestled in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay offers the best of beach-side bliss and sun-soaked excitement. With something for everyone, guests can enjoy miles of pristine white-sand beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters, take a dip in the largest freshwater pool in The Bahamas, and swim up to the bar for a refreshing tropical cocktail. Plus, guests can experience the ultimate in relaxation and privacy at Coco Beach Club that features a heated infinity pool, specialty restaurant, 20 exclusive overwater cabanas, and more. Debuting in January 2024, Perfect Day at CocoCay will introduce Hideaway Beach – an adults-only paradise, with private cabanas and a new signature food outlet.

Additionally, from February 25, 2025, to April 10, 2025, Summit will offer five new itineraries ranging from 5- to 9-night across the Western and Eastern Caribbean.

"As one of Celebrity Cruises' homeports, we are excited about the new sailings on Apex and Summit. In addition to the line's 'resort at sea' experience, their cruise guests can expect to experience unrivalled customer service and ease of sailing at Port Everglades," said Port Everglades CEO and Port Director Jonathan Daniels.

Celebrity Comes to Port Canaveral

For the first time ever, Celebrity Cruises will sail out of Orlando's Port Canaveral with 20 new itineraries, from November 21, 2024, to April 19, 2025, on board the intimate Celebrity Equinox. With most itineraries spanning 7-nights, travelers will have the opportunity to visit highly sought-after Caribbean destinations like the Bahamas, Belize, Grand Cayman, Mexico, San Juan, and St. Maarten. Just in time for the Spring Break season, two sailings on March 1st and March 15th, 2025, will visit Perfect Day at CocoCay.

"We are thrilled to welcome Celebrity Cruises as our new partner and honored to be part of their Caribbean expansion plans," said Capt. John Murray, Port Canaveral CEO. "The demand for Celebrity Cruise sailings from our Port has been growing. Now, with Celebrity Equinox homeported here, there are great opportunities for even more cruise travelers to experience the cruise line's high-quality experience, while experiencing the comfort and ease of travel provided by our Port."

Refreshed Caribbean Offerings from Port Tampa Bay

Celebrity Cruises will revamp its current Caribbean program out of Port Tampa Bay. Guests can now enjoy more frequent opportunities to set sail with 6- to 7-night cruises on board Celebrity Constellation. The new program expands the brand's offerings with four new itineraries and a total of 14 sailings for the season from January 2, 2025, to April 6, 2025. These itineraries will visit destinations like Belize, Honduras, Key West, Mexico, and New Orleans during Mardi Gras, scheduled for March 1, 2025.

"There has never been a better time to sail Celebrity Cruises from Port Tampa Bay. We are excited for Celebrity's new offerings and our continued successful partnership," said Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay President and CEO. "Celebrity Constellation is a beautiful ship that provides travelers with an unforgettable cruise experience, all the while being located just steps from Tampa's top attractions."

Carnival Announces 2025-26 Deployment With New Sailings from Galveston
In the spirit of planning ahead, Carnival Cruise Line begins opening its 2025-26 deployment with new sailings from Galveston available for booking today. Carnival Breeze, Carnival Dream, and the newest ship in the fleet, which is set to debut later this year, Carnival Jubilee are now available for sale with sailings through April 2026.

“Galveston is one of our most popular homeports, and the addition of Carnival Jubilee brings not only an all-new cruise experience and increased capacity – it also gives us the opportunity to freshen our offerings for the other popular ships homeported there, Carnival Dream and Carnival Breeze,” said Fred Stein, Carnival’s vice president of revenue planning and deployment. “Building on our strong portfolio of options out of Texas will give our guests in that region great new options as they look ahead and plan for their future vacations.”

The new sailings feature a wide range of itineraries of four-, five-, six-, seven- and eight-day sailings. The following is a sampling of what each ship will offer beginning in May 2025:

Carnival Jubilee

Week-long sailings aboard Carnival’s next new ship, Carnival Jubilee, are now open and feature itineraries that visit the three popular Western Caribbean of Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan; as well as Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. These destinations offer guests the opportunity to experience sun-drenched beaches and turquoise blue water surrounded by lush vegetation and exotic wildlife. Shore excursions in this region, from touring the ancient city of Tulum near Cozumel to snorkeling in Costa Maya, offer something for everyone.

Carnival Dream

New sailings open for Carnival Dream include six- and eight-day itineraries, Six-day cruises visit Western Caribbean destinations, including Belize; Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan; as well as Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. Eight-day cruises bring guests to Eastern Caribbean destinations and include a visit to Key West and three stops in The Bahamas: Nassau, Freeport and Half Moon Cay.

Carnival Breeze

An array of four- and five-day cruise options are now available aboard Carnival Breeze, which will bring guests from Galveston to Mexico. On all its sailings, the ship will visit Cozumel, which is one of Carnival’s most popular destinations. Five-day itineraries add Progreso as a second port of call.

Additional 2025-26 itineraries from other Carnival homeports will be announced in the coming weeks.

Viking's Newest Nile River Ship Named in Aswan
Viking today named its newest river ship, the Viking Aton, with a special celebration in Aswan, Egypt. The ship's ceremonial godfather, Richard Riveire, designer of Viking's award-winning river, ocean and expedition vessels and founding Principal of internationally acclaimed interior design firm Rottet Studio, offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for the ship—an evolution of the naval tradition dating back to thousands of years. The Viking Aton, an identical sister ship of the Viking Osiris, is a state-of-the-art vessel specifically built to navigate the Nile and will sail Viking's popular Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary.

"Today, we are pleased to welcome Viking Aton to our growing fleet. Together with her sister ship, the Viking Osiris, they are the newest and most elegant vessels on the Nile, by far," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "With extraordinarily strong interest in Egypt among our guests, we are proud to bring another state-of-the-art vessel to this region, and we look forward to introducing even more curious travelers to the country's rich cultural treasures. I am also thankful to my friend, Richard Riveire, for his tremendous contributions to Viking, including the design of this new vessel and our other award-winning river, ocean and expedition ships."

"It is an incredible honor to be the godfather of the Viking Aton and to celebrate the growing Viking fleet," said Richard Riveire. "For well over a decade, I have been proud to work alongside Tor, Karine and the Viking team to help design how the Viking brand comes to life on board. Together, we share the belief that the design of each Viking ship should showcase the destination, wherever you may be in the world."

Richard Riveire, Godfather of the Viking Aton

Richard Riveire, AIA, NCARB, IIDA is one of the founding Principals of internationally acclaimed interior architecture and design firm Rottet Studio. He is widely recognized for creating dynamic, groundbreaking interiors focused on human comfort and visual inspiration. During his 30-plus-year career, he has received numerous design excellence awards from organizations including American Institute of Architects, Interior Design Magazine and the International Interior Design Association. He has also overseen many high-profile projects focusing on hospitality and entertainment including Presidential Bungalows at The Beverly Hills Hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel & Residences at LA Live among others.

The Viking Aton & Viking's Growing Egypt Fleet

Hosting 82 guests in 41 staterooms, the new Viking Aton is inspired by Viking's award-winning river and ocean ships with the elegant Scandinavian design for which Viking is known. The Viking Aton is the identical sister ship to the Viking Osiris, which was named in 2022 by Viking's first ceremonial godfather, the 8th Earl of Carnarvon. The sister ships feature several aspects familiar to Viking guests, such as a distinctive square bow and an indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace. The Viking Aton joins Viking's growing fleet built specifically for the Nile. In addition to the Viking Aton and the Viking Osiris, identical sister ships the Viking Hathor and the Viking Sobek, are under construction and will be delivered in 2024 and 2025, respectively. Additional ships in the Egypt fleet currently include the Viking Ra and the MS Antares; by 2025, Viking will have six ships sailing the Nile River.

Royal Caribbean Celebrates Alaska Culture With New “locals Onboard” Program
Royal Caribbean International is featuring local Alaska artists across its Alaska cruises as part of a new “Locals Onboard” program presented by Voyij.com. The program illustrates the cruise line’s SEA the Future commitment to energize local communities by helping connect local business owners and artists with vacationers on immersive experiences that bring to life the beauty and culture of the state.

Throughout this Alaska season, artists join a lineup of sailings to bring to life small group experiences on board for travelers to meet and engage with Alaskans. Participating local artists lead guests through unique programming, including photography workshops, Alaska Native culture and dance, watercolor sessions, storytelling and more.

“We are excited to share the cultural wealth of our great state onboard these sailings,” said Olivia Klupar, CEO, Voyij.com. “This exclusive collaboration with Royal Caribbean entertainment reflects the cruise line’s commitment to providing guests with authentic and culturally rich experiences in the beautiful State of Alaska.”

The immersive program showcases 16 talented artists and local business owners from six southeast and southcentral Alaska communities (Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Haines, Sitka and Seward). In total, the program features 52 unique experiences, including:

• A Brief Introduction to Indigenous Southeast Alaska: Vacationers discover the historical indigenous way of life in Ketchikan, exploring tribal artifacts, cedar weaving, the art of totem carving and traditional fishing methods.

• Painting the Wild: Travelers explore artwork and inspiration from the coastal fjords of Alaska's Glacier Bay.

• Harvesting Wild Plants in the Northern Lynn Canal: Guests are introduced to foraging local plants sustainably with an opportunity to create sugar scrubs using wild flora and glacial silt harvested in the Northern Lynn Canal.

“We are immensely grateful to the Alaskans who have joined us in sharing their stories and art,” said Nick Weir, senior vice president, Entertainment, Royal Caribbean International. “Our guests are eager to experience the local art and culture firsthand. Connecting them to artists who can share their talent and personal stories complements their onshore adventures and strengthens their connections with the destinations we visit. Our enrichment program has become hugely successful, and it is one of the things that I am most proud of since joining Royal Caribbean.”

Skagway-based artist Stephanie Ryan described the event as heartwarming. “I had three women who pulled their chairs right up to the front so they could see everything on my table while I was presenting. And they were able to ask me questions and chat when there was an opportunity. It was very heartwarming, and they also felt comfortable enough to chat about their own experiences and artwork.”

This exciting partnership seeks to enrich travel experiences by offering vacationers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse themselves in Alaska's authentic culture and community. The collaboration is indicative of the cruise line and its parent company, Royal Caribbean Group’s, commitment to SEA the Future, which celebrates and spotlights local cultures in meaningful ways to energize and support the communities they visit.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.71 - 6.65%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 99.27 - 4.32%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 17.01 - 4.44%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
If you were departing on a transatlantic crossing from Pier 90 in New York City in the early 1950's, what shipping company would you most likely have been traveling on?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the first ship operated by Norwegian Cruise Line (then called Norwegian Caribbean)?

Answer - IThe first ship in the NCL (Norwegian Caribbean Line) fleet was the Sunward...not to be confused with the Sunward II. courtesy of Carlos Ortega, Miami, Florida


Cruise News - August 14, 2023

Silversea's Silver Nova Departs on Her Maiden Voyage
The first Nova-class ship for Silversea, Silver Nova?, embarks on her maiden voyage on August 14, departing Venice, Italy. Sailing on a seven-day roundtrip voyage through the Adriatic, Silver Nova will call in Piran, Slovenia; Zadar, Dubrovnik, Split, and Rovinj in Croatia; and Kotor, Montenegro. One of the most environmentally conscious ultra-luxury cruise ships ever built, Silver Nova is Silversea's 12th ship and the first to launch this year for Royal Caribbean Group NYSE: RCL), becoming the 64th ship in its global fleet. Prior to her departure, executives from Royal Caribbean Group and Silversea hosted a three-day architectural preview for select travel partners and members of the press, sailing roundtrip from Venice.

"Silver Nova revolutionizes ultra-luxury cruising and sets the new category standard," said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. "From her innovative horizontal design to her emphasis on sustainable operations, Silver Nova speaks to Royal Caribbean Group's commitment to deliver the world's best vacations, responsibly."

"It was incredibly emotional to welcome guests aboard Silver Nova ahead of her maiden voyage," said Barbara Muckermann, president, Silversea Cruises. "Benefiting from an innovative asymmetrical design, she immerses guests into the destination at every turn — a strong expression of our brand mission. As one of the most spacious ships at sea, and with the broadest array of bars, lounges, and restaurants in ultra-luxury cruise travel, Silver Nova elevates the experience for our guests like never before. I would like to thank Jason Liberty, and all involved at Silversea, Royal Caribbean Group, and Meyer Werft. A special thank you to the Royal Caribbean Group Newbuild team, without whom this would not have been possible, and to Silver Nova's amazing crew, led by Captain Mino Pontillo, for their precious support in launching this game-changing ship."

AN ENTIRELY NEW TAKE ON LUXURY AT SEA

Silver Nova introduces an entirely new take on luxury at sea. Her innovative design, which prizes openness over symmetry and incorporates an unprecedented use of approximately 4,000m2 of glass, immerses guests into the destination from virtually all venues and suites, with far-reaching views at every turn. Her reimagined pool deck, which overlooks the water on her starboard side, and all-new outdoor venues — the Dusk Bar and the Marquee — best exemplify her unique openness to the destination.

One of the most spacious cruise ships ever built, Silver Nova has a space-to-guest ratio of 75 GRT-per-guest — the highest in Silversea's fleet. She offers one of the most personalized levels of service at sea with a crew-to-guest ratio of 1:1.3, including butler service for all suites. Silver Nova hosts up to 728 guests in 13 different suite categories — the largest variety of suites in Silversea's history, and among the most spacious accommodations of any cruise ship. Every suite offers guests the use of a private veranda. The largest option is the new 123m2 (1,324ft2) Otium Suite, with floor-to-ceiling windows providing 270-degree views from the ship's premium aft-corner position. It also features a 40m2 (431ft2) balcony with its own whirlpool.

Further enriching the on-board experience are the largest selection of bars, restaurants, and lounges in ultra-luxury cruising; Otium, the cruise line's Roman-inspired wellness program, complete with all-new enhancements; and its innovative culinary program, Sea and Land Taste (S.A.L.T.), which comprises an on-board ecosystem of culinary discovery, immersive excursions ashore, food lectures, hands-on culinary experiences, and more.

Following her maiden voyage, Silver Nova will spend the summer in the Mediterranean before heading to the Caribbean and South America in November. On January 4, 2024, she will embark on the 71-day Grand Voyage South America, visiting 38 destinations in 18 countries.

Silver Nova's sister ship, Silver Ray?, is scheduled to launch in summer 2024.

Norwegian Viva Debuts in Europe and Welcomes First Guests Aboard
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the innovator in global cruise travel, with a 56-year history of breaking boundaries, today welcomed the very first guests to sail aboard the all-new Norwegian Viva, the Company's highly anticipated new ship and second of the Prima Class, as it embarked on its maiden voyage from Venice (Trieste), Italy.

Making a grand debut in Europe today, Norwegian Viva departed for its first spectacular nine-day journey through the Mediterranean, taking guests from Venice (Trieste), Italy to Lisbon, Portugal with stops in some of Europe's most incredible seaside destinations including Salerno, off Italy's picturesque Amalfi Coast; Cannes along France's stunning Cote d'Azur; and Ibiza, Spain in the Balearic Islands, among other superb destinations. Norwegian Viva will sail a selection of bucket-list worthy Greek Isles and Mediterranean voyages through November, before homeporting in San Juan, Puerto Rico in December for a season in the Caribbean.

"This summer, our guests will have the opportunity to explore Europe aboard our newest magnificent vessel, Norwegian Viva, while enjoying its well-appointed spacious design, elevated experiences, expansive culinary offerings and signature Norwegian Cruise Line hospitality provided by the best crew in the industry," said David J. Herrera, president of Norwegian Cruise Line. "Norwegian Viva's tagline is 'Live it Up,' and I have no doubt our guests will be doing just that while they cruise to some of the liveliest cities in Europe and the Caribbean during the ship's inaugural season."

Mirroring the design of the award-winning sister ship Norwegian Prima, Norwegian Viva features standout onboard experiences including the Viva Speedway—the three-level racetrack; Indulge Food Hall, an upscale food market exhibiting 11 unique eateries; the fastest slides at sea, The Drop and Rush; and NCL's industry-exclusive sustainable cocktail bar, the Metropolitan Bar.

Norwegian Viva's upscale and spacious design is elevated by an expansive array of artwork across the ship, including The Concourse, a multi-million-dollar outdoor sculpture garden, and a dynamic, interactive 52-foot-wide art piece by contemporary British digital artist Dominic Harris. Exclusively created for Norwegian Viva, Harris' "Every Wing Has a Silver Lining" digital art piece is on display at Metropolitan Bar and dynamically responds throughout the day to passing movement, creating engagement with the viewer. Norwegian Viva also features a world-class entertainment lineup, headlined by the side-splitting Tony Award-nominated comedy "Beetlejuice The Musical" and the iconic game show "Press Your Luck LIVE," an immersive experience where the audience participates to win incredible grand prizes.

Following the ship's maiden voyage, Norwegian Viva will sail a series of Mediterranean and Greek Isles itineraries, before its official Christening ceremony in Miami on Nov. 28, 2023. Luis Fonsi, Latin GRAMMY award-winning artist and godfather to Norwegian Viva, will attend the celebration to officially name the ship and will be joined by The Queen of Latin Pop, Paulina Rubio; "Saturday Night Live" cast member and Miami-native Marcello Hernandez; and singer Pedro Capó. The ship will homeport in San Juan, Puerto Rico for a season of Caribbean voyages from December 2023 through March 2024 with calls to Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. John's, Antigua; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.

In May 2024, Norwegian Viva will return to Europe, where its Mediterranean itineraries offer an unmatched opportunity to experience the beauty and culture of Europe. With an average of 10.5 hours in port, travelers will have more time to explore with fewer days at sea. Guests can unpack once, all while enjoying the ease and comfort of their world-class travel accommodations and the ability to wake up in a new destination as the ship transports them from one spectacular European city to another.

Celebrity Announces New Itineraries Bringing Four Ships to Three Florida Ports
Celebrity Cruises unveiled all-new Caribbean offerings for the Winter 2024-2025 season on board four stellar ships – Celebrity Apex, Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Equinox, and Celebrity Summit. Embarking from three Florida ports: Central Florida's Port Canaveral, West Florida's Port Tampa Bay, and South Florida's Port Everglades, travelers will enjoy more than 40 new itineraries, all open for booking on August 22, 2023. Catering to the diverse needs of today's consumer, the new program offers a wide range of experiences, from rejuvenating quick getaways to weekly 7-night cruises, and up to 9-night escapes. Transporting guests to tropical hotspots from Belize and Bimini to Grand Cayman and San Juan, a select number of itineraries also offer the opportunity to visit Perfect Day at CocoCay.

"We are so excited to unveil this new program. It provides our guests with more options to experience the natural beauty of the Caribbean, which is elevated by our personalized experiences on board," says Laura Hodges Bethge, President of Celebrity Cruises. "As part of this expansion, we are thrilled to add Port Canaveral to our list of home ports – it is a perfect market to reach a wide mix of both in- and out-of-state travelers looking for fun in the Caribbean sun."

More Opportunities to Sail from South Florida and Visit Perfect Day at CocoCay

As part of the new program, Celebrity will expand its offerings from Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades, to include more opportunities to set sail on two award-winning ships: Celebrity Apex and Celebrity Summit. From October 23, 2024, to March 8, 2025, travelers can enjoy five new sailings on Apex, ranging from 6- to 7-night itineraries visiting destinations like St. Maarten, San Juan, Grand Cayman, and Mexico, as well as select sailings to Perfect Day at CocoCay.

A vibrant private island paradise nestled in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay offers the best of beach-side bliss and sun-soaked excitement. With something for everyone, guests can enjoy miles of pristine white-sand beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters, take a dip in the largest freshwater pool in The Bahamas, and swim up to the bar for a refreshing tropical cocktail. Plus, guests can experience the ultimate in relaxation and privacy at Coco Beach Club that features a heated infinity pool, specialty restaurant, 20 exclusive overwater cabanas, and more. Debuting in January 2024, Perfect Day at CocoCay will introduce Hideaway Beach – an adults-only paradise, with private cabanas and a new signature food outlet.

Additionally, from February 25, 2025, to April 10, 2025, Summit will offer five new itineraries ranging from 5- to 9-night across the Western and Eastern Caribbean.

"As one of Celebrity Cruises' homeports, we are excited about the new sailings on Apex and Summit. In addition to the line's 'resort at sea' experience, their cruise guests can expect to experience unrivalled customer service and ease of sailing at Port Everglades," said Port Everglades CEO and Port Director Jonathan Daniels.

Celebrity Comes to Port Canaveral

For the first time ever, Celebrity Cruises will sail out of Orlando's Port Canaveral with 20 new itineraries, from November 21, 2024, to April 19, 2025, on board the intimate Celebrity Equinox. With most itineraries spanning 7-nights, travelers will have the opportunity to visit highly sought-after Caribbean destinations like the Bahamas, Belize, Grand Cayman, Mexico, San Juan, and St. Maarten. Just in time for the Spring Break season, two sailings on March 1st and March 15th, 2025, will visit Perfect Day at CocoCay.

"We are thrilled to welcome Celebrity Cruises as our new partner and honored to be part of their Caribbean expansion plans," said Capt. John Murray, Port Canaveral CEO. "The demand for Celebrity Cruise sailings from our Port has been growing. Now, with Celebrity Equinox homeported here, there are great opportunities for even more cruise travelers to experience the cruise line's high-quality experience, while experiencing the comfort and ease of travel provided by our Port."

Refreshed Caribbean Offerings from Port Tampa Bay

Celebrity Cruises will revamp its current Caribbean program out of Port Tampa Bay. Guests can now enjoy more frequent opportunities to set sail with 6- to 7-night cruises on board Celebrity Constellation. The new program expands the brand's offerings with four new itineraries and a total of 14 sailings for the season from January 2, 2025, to April 6, 2025. These itineraries will visit destinations like Belize, Honduras, Key West, Mexico, and New Orleans during Mardi Gras, scheduled for March 1, 2025.

"There has never been a better time to sail Celebrity Cruises from Port Tampa Bay. We are excited for Celebrity's new offerings and our continued successful partnership," said Paul Anderson, Port Tampa Bay President and CEO. "Celebrity Constellation is a beautiful ship that provides travelers with an unforgettable cruise experience, all the while being located just steps from Tampa's top attractions."

Carnival Introduces Carnival Jubilee’s Senior Officers
With her arrival just months away, Carnival Cruise Line today named the senior officers at the helm of its newest ship, Carnival Jubilee. The ship is being built at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany and will operate its first cruise from its homeport of Galveston, Tex. on Dec. 23, 2023. Carnival has appointed Captain Andrea Catalani, Chief Engineer Vittorino Perasole and Hotel Director Pierre Camilleri as the ship’s senior officers.

“These accomplished senior officers have combined nearly 70 years of experience and will serve as knowledgeable and inspirational leaders to our more than 1,700 team members on Carnival Jubilee,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “They will also ensure that our guests are very well taken care of.”

Carnival Jubilee’s arrival will be the second time Captain Catalani leads a team in Galveston. He served as captain on Carnival Vista when the ship began to homeport there in 2018, and now he is proud to lead the way for a new ship’s debut in Texas.

“I feel honored and privileged for leading such a great team of professionals on Carnival Jubilee, which will soon be the most innovative Carnival ship deployed to Galveston,” said Catalani. “This is a great professional accomplishment for the entire team. We are counting the days until we take delivery and can bring this beautiful new ship to our guests in Galveston.”

Senior Officers

Captain Andrea Catalani: Originally from Corinaldo, Italy, Catalani began working for Carnival in 1999 and brings nearly 24 years of experience to the helm of Carnival Jubilee. He has worked on 18 Carnival ships, including Carnival Sunshine, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Horizon, Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration, as well as leading the Carnival Vista inaugural team.

Chief Engineer Vittorino Perasole: Starting with Carnival as a third engineer in 1998, Perasole quickly moved his way up, leading several teams as chief engineer since 2014. He is originally from Torre del Greco, Italy, and has worked on Carnival Dream, Carnival Pride, Carnival Radiance, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Celebration.

Hotel Director Pierre Camilleri: Now in his 19th year with Carnival, Camilleri joined the company in 2004 as hotel director after managing a variety of hotel and resort properties in his native Malta, as well as Europe and Asia. He has served as hotel director on several Carnival ships and has been part of the inaugural teams for Carnival Breeze, Carnival Vista, Carnival Horizon, Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration.

Carnival Jubilee joins her sisters Carnival Celebration and Mardi Gras as the third ship in the fleet powered by a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) propulsion system. Carnival Jubilee will debut unique and immersive ocean-themed experiences in two new zones, Currents and The Shores. The ship will be home to other features already popular on board her sister ships, like BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster and a transformational three-deck atrium that offers expansive views during the day and doubles as an entertainment venue at night with movable LED screens and theatrical lighting.

Cunard Announces Exclusive Partnership with Two Michelin-starred Chef Michel Roux
Cunard has announced an exclusive partnership with two Michelin-starred chef, Michel Roux.

Michel Roux will be working alongside Cunard's culinary development chefs to create an exclusive gala menu for the Queens Grill restaurant on the line's new ship Queen Anne, plus a new menu for Cunard's fleet-wide pub, the Golden Lion.

Cunard reveals four additional dining experiences that will be available on their new ship Queen Anne.

The new pub menu, currently in development, will feature a selection of guest favorites, reimagined by chef Michel. It will launch on board Queen Anne in May 2024, before being rolled out to the existing fleet later in the year.

Cunard has also revealed four additional dining experiences that will be available on Queen Anne – Aji Wa, Aranya, Sir Samuels, and Tramonto – offering guests more choice than ever before.

Three of these original venues aboard the luxury cruise line's newest ship will be alternative evening dining options, available as a supplement, complementing the inclusive fare options offered for lunch or dinner in Tramonto and the Golden Lion pub.

A brand-new concept for Cunard, Aji Wa will feature creative Japanese cuisine influenced by the seasons of the year, featuring sushi and an a la carte menu for lunch and dinner, with an additional option to participate in a special Omikase "chef's choice" tasting menu in the evening.

In another new taste direction for Cunard, Aranya takes guests on a journey through the rich spice flavors of India with menus curated by experts in their field. It's a multi-sensory experience, from the vibrancy of the flavors to the luxurious interiors which includes stunning floor-to-ceiling windows for magnificent views while dining.

The epitome of a high-end steakhouse, Sir Samuels will showcase the very best of British and Australian beef and seafood, complemented by an exceptional wine program. Selected for their provenance, steaks will be of the highest quality and seared to perfection. Alongside a vast array of beef options, there will also be a wide range of fish and seafood dishes. All the produce has been sourced responsibly to bring the freshest ingredients to the table.

Tramonto will transport guests to the sun-kissed shores of the Mediterranean, with a menu full of fresh flavors and an opportunity for guests to dine alfresco while watching the sun set on a warm summer evening.

Guests will also have exclusive use of dining appropriate to their stateroom type, from the grand two-tiered Britannia restaurant, the largest Britannia Club restaurant in the fleet, to the opulent settings of the Princess Grill and Queens Grill Restaurants.

"We're excited to share a flavor of what will be served on board Queen Anne in 2024," said Matt Gleaves, VP, Commercial, Cunard North America. "Cunard is renowned for high quality dining options, and we're delighted to be working with the very best chefs, at the top of their different culinary fields, to offer such a wide range of dining options to our guests. From embracing the best of Japan in our new sushi and sake bar to dining alfresco in Tramonto, or enjoying a pub meal in the Golden Lion, there really will be something for everyone."

Michel Roux added: "It is an absolute privilege to be working with Cunard's hugely talented and passionate culinary development chefs as we countdown to the launch of their newest ship Queen Anne. For me, there is no better recipe than blending high quality ingredients with elegant execution to create unforgettable experiences for diners, and I am incredibly excited to showcase our elevated, reimagined pub classics to Cunard guests very soon."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 16.83 - 6.71%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 103.75 - 3.99%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 17.80 - 3.68%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the first ship operated by Norwegian Cruise Line (then called Norwegian Caribbean)?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which was the first cruise/passenger ship to have fin stabilizers?

Answer - It was Cunard Line's MEDIA, built in 1948....but the stabilizers were added later. courtesy of Nick Williams, New York City


Cruise News - August 7, 2023

NCL Welcomes Norwegian Viva to FLeet
Norwegian Cruise Line today took delivery of Norwegian Viva, the newest vessel in the now 19-ship fleet and the second ship in the revolutionary Prima Class, at the renowned Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy.

The milestone event marks the arrival of the second of six ships in the Prima Class set to debut through 2028. Following the launch of the award-winning Norwegian Prima in 2022, Norwegian Viva will continue to raise the bar on cruising. The ship’s tagline “Live it Up” embodies the enhanced guest experience and on-board characteristic of this pioneering class, including elevated offerings, more spacious designs, thrilling onboard activities such as the three-story Viva Speedway, and new dining concepts, most notably Indulge Food Hall—an open-air food market featuring 11 unique eateries.

“Ships as stellar as those of the Prima Class are only possible in collaboration with an incredible shipyard like Fincantieri,” said David J. Herrera, president of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Delivery marks an important milestone for Norwegian Viva, and we are beyond excited to bring this spectacular ship to life as we welcome guests aboard next week.”

While the ship boasts many of the highlights that are central to the Prima Class, unique to Norwegian Viva is the at-sea debut of Tony Award-nominated production, “Beetlejuice,” where guests can "Live it Up" with the undead during a musical adaptation of Tim Burton’s 1988 film of the same name. Additional evening entertainment programming includes Press Your Luck Live—an immersive game show experience pulled straight from the television screen, offering audience members a chance to participate in the classic game and win prizes.

At 965 feet long, 143,535 gross tons and with the capacity for 3,100 guests, Norwegian Viva also features The Concourse, an outdoor sculpture garden in Ocean Boulevard, the wrap-around boardwalk bringing guests closer to the water than ever before. Reimagined for Norwegian Viva, the area will include work from six artists that have been featured on previous Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. ships: Kevin Box, Jonathan Prince, Arik Levy, Richard Hudson, Sophie Elizabeth Thompson, and Pablo Atchugarry. A new art addition will be included at Metropolitan Bar, the ship’s exclusive sustainable cocktail bar, “Every Wing has a Silver Lining,” a 52-foot-long interactive work of art designed exclusively for Norwegian Viva by contemporary British digital artist Dominic Harris.

“Norwegian Viva is a testament to our wonderful partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line,” said Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO of Fincantieri. “We are proud to play a role in the innovative Prima Class and look forward to continuing our partnership for years to come with the next four highly anticipated Prima Class ships.”

Following the ship’s maiden voyage on Aug.10 2023, Norwegian Viva will sail a series of Mediterranean and Greek Isles itineraries, before her official Christening ceremony in Miami on Nov. 28, 2023. Luis Fonsi, Latin GRAMMY award-winning artist and godfather to Norwegian Viva, will attend the celebration to officially name the ship and will be joined by The Queen of Latin Pop, Paulina Rubio; “Saturday Night Live” cast member and Miami-native Marcello Hernandez; and singer Pedro Capó. The ship will homeport in San Juan, Puerto Rico for a season of Caribbean voyages from December 2023 through March 2024 with calls to Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. John’s, Antigua; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.

Carnival’s Mardi Gras Crew Rescues Couple in Distress at Sea
Carnival Cruise Line’s crew aboard Mardi Gras answered a call from the U.S. Coast Guard to rescue a couple from a sailboat early Monday morning.

The couple was stranded about 20 nautical miles from Castle Island, Bahamas, and Mardi Gras was less than nine miles from them when the Coast Guard’s call was received by the ship’s officers.

As the ship’s team approached the sailboat, a lifeboat was lowered from Mardi Gras to make the rescue just after 1 a.m. Monday.

Once on board, the man was admitted to the onboard medical center and the team is caring for him.

Mardi Gras is operating an eight-day Caribbean sailing that departed from Port Canaveral, Fla.

The ship is continuing its planned itinerary and will arrive to Aruba on Tuesday.

Embrace the Adventurous Side in South America & Antarctica with the 2024-2025 Princess Cruises Season
As a growing number of travelers mull the allure of Antarctica, Princess Cruises today unveiled four exciting voyages planned for the Seventh Continent for the 2024-2025 season.

In 2024-25 Sapphire Princess will again sail guests to some of the world's most dramatically diverse landscapes with the opportunity to get swept away by the breathtaking beauty of Antarctica, the charm of the Falkland Islands' penguins and incredible vistas of Elephant Island, Antarctic Sound and Gerlache Strait. As the top-rated large ship cruise line in the region, only Princess offers guests an up-close look at the wonders of the white continent while enjoying large ship comfort and small ship personalization at a fraction of the price of explorer ships.

Princess is a member of the prestigious International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, placing a priority on environmental responsibility and safe travel at the forefront of every voyage.

As a symbol of large ship exploration, Sapphire Princess will also embark on a series of South American itineraries, joined by Majestic Princess to offer an enchanting fusion of exotic cultures and landscapes combined with exciting cruisetours.

With two ships, 26 destinations and 14 countries, the 2024-2025 season includes 15 total departures on 11 unique itineraries. New this season is a 17-day Antarctica voyage sailing roundtrip from Buenos Aires, featuring an overnight in this vibrant homeport. In addition, for guests looking for the ultimate exploration, a 51-day South America Grand Adventure awaits sailing on Majestic Princess between Los Angeles and Ft. Lauderdale, highlighted with overnight stays in Lima, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.

"No other large ship cruise line sails Antarctica like Princess," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "Our master navigators, unique local relationships and outstanding amenities make accessing these exotic destinations not only immersive but amazingly comfortable." There are numerous advantages to visiting Antarctica and South America with Princess.

• Expert navigation accessing some of the most dynamic environments on the planet.

• Incredible up-close views of icebergs, glaciers, whales and penguins.

• Onboard experts, naturalists, historians and storytellers with captivating stories and curated activities.

• Infused local culture with Argentine folkloric musicians, regional cuisine and wines, and local dancers and samba classes from the famed Carnival festival.

• More itineraries, more voyage length options and more departure dates than any other large ship cruise line.

NEW! Antarctica – 17 Days – Four Voyages, Roundtrip from Buenos Aires: Featuring four days of cruising the Antarctica region with views of Elephant Island, Antarctic Sound and Gerlache Strait

Sapphire Princess, December 1, 18, 2024 and January 4, 20, 2025: Sails from Buenos Aires (overnight) to Punta Arenas, Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego), Cape Horn scenic cruising, Antarctic Peninsula scenic cruising (Elephant Island, Antarctic Sound, Deception Island, Gerlache Strait, Neumayer Channel, South Shetland Islands and Admiralty Bay), Falkland Islands (Stanley), Montevideo and arrive back in Buenos Aires.

Cape Horn & Strait of Magellan – 14 or 15 Days – Four Voyages

Majestic Princess, December 19, 2024: Santiago, Puerto Montt, Amalia Glacier scenic cruising, Punta Arenas, Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego), Cape Horn scenic cruising, Falkland Islands (Stanley), Puerto Madryn, Montevideo, arrive in Buenos Aires (overnight). Sapphire Princess, February 7 and 21 (reverse itinerary), 2024 and March 7, 2025: Depart from Buenos Aires (overnight), Montevideo, Puerto Madryn, Falkland Islands (Stanley), Cape Horn scenic cruising, Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego), Punta Arenas, Amalia Glacier scenic cruising, Puerto Montt and arrive in Santiago.

Andes & South America – 18 Days – Two Voyages

Majestic Princess, December 1, 2024: Depart Los Angeles and sail to Puerto Vallarta, Fuerte Amador, Lima (overnight), Pisco (General San Martin), La Serena (Coquimbo) and arrive in Santiago. Sapphire Princess, March 21, 2025: Depart Santiago with visits to La Serena, Pisco, Lima (overnight), Manta, Costa Rica, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, Los Angeles.

Brazilian Adventure – 18 Days – Two Voyages

Sapphire Princess, November 13, 2024: Depart from Ft. Lauderdale to St. Kitts, Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro (overnight), Montevideo and arrive in Buenos Aires (overnight). Majestic Princess, January 3, 2025 – Sails from Buenos Aires to Santos, Rio de Janeiro (overnight), Fortaleza, Dominica, St. Kitts arrive in Ft. Lauderdale.

Grand Adventures – 32-51 Days – Five Voyages

Andes & Cape Horn Grand Adventure (33 days), Majestic Princess, December 1, 2024: Sail from Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta, Fuerte Amador, Lima (overnight), Pisco, La Serena, Santiago, Puerto Montt, Amalia Glacier scenic cruising, Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Cape Horn scenic cruising, Falkland Islands, Puerto Madryn, Montevideo and arrive Buenos Aires.

Andes & Cape Horn Grand Adventure (32 Days), Sapphire Princess, March 7, 2025: Depart Buenos Aires (overnight) to Montevideo, Puerto Madryn, Falkland Islands, Cape Horn scenic cruising, Ushuaia, Punta Arenas, Amalia Glacier scenic cruising, Puerto Montt, Santiago, La Serena, Pisco, Lima (overnight), Manta, Costa Rica, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and arrive Los Angeles.

Brazilian and Cape Horn Grand Adventure (33 days), Majestic Princess, December 19, 2025: Santiago, Puerto Montt, Amalia Glacier scenic cruising, Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Cape Horn scenic cruising, Falkland Islands, Puerto Madryn, Montevideo and arrive Buenos Aires, Santos, Rio de Janeiro (overnight), Fortaleza, Dominica, St. Kitts arrive in Ft. Lauderdale.

Antarctica & Brazilian Grand Adventure (35 days), Sapphire Princess, November 13, 2024: Ft. Lauderdale to St. Kitts, Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro (overnight), Montevideo and arrive in Buenos Aires (overnight), Punta Arenas, Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego), Cape Horn scenic cruising, Antarctic Peninsula scenic cruising (Elephant Island, Antarctic Sound, Deception Island, Gerlache Strait, Neumayer Channel, South Shetland Islands and Admiralty Bay), Falkland Islands (Stanley), Montevideo and arrive back in Buenos Aires.

South America Grand Adventure (51 days), Majestic Princess, December 1, 2024: Depart Los Angeles and sail to Puerto Vallarta, Fuerte Amador, Lima (overnight), Pisco (General San Martin), La Serena (Coquimbo), Santiago, Puerto Montt, Amalia Glacier scenic cruising, Punta Arenas, Ushuaia, Cape Horn scenic cruising, Falkland Islands, Puerto Madryn, Montevideo, Buenos Aires (overnight), Rio de Janeiro (overnight), Fortaleza, Dominica, St. Kitts arrive in Ft. Lauderdale.

For guests wishing to combine a land tour before or after their cruise visiting sought-after UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Princess offers two cruisetours for South America:

Iguazú Falls Adventure – features the thundering Iguazú Falls – the largest waterfall system in the world - as well as a visit to Rio de Janeiro.

Machu Picchu Explorer – travel via train through vibrantly green winding valleys to the ancient Inca compound, Machu Picchu, plus a tour of the historic city of Cusco.

From Brother Captains to Godmother Sisters: It's a Family Affair on the Upcoming Celebrity Ascent
Celebrity Cruises, the award-winning premium cruise line pioneering resort travel at sea, is thrilled to unveil the Godmothers for Celebrity Ascent, launching this November. Today, Celebrity Cruises announces that Captain Sandy Yawn, best known for her appearance on Bravo TV's hit series, Below Deck, alongside her sister Michelle Dunham, founder of the Jacksonville School for Autism (JSA), have been selected as co-Godmothers of the upcoming ship. The sisters will now join the industry's first brother Captains, Dimitrios and Tasos Kafetzis, who were announced earlier this year as the chosen duo to jointly take helm of the new vessel.

Captain Sandy and Michelle will now join an illustrious group of admired, purposeful and inspirational women who hold the role of Godmother for a Celebrity Cruises ship. Godmothers of the previous Edge Series ships include Simone Biles, 19-time World Champion and seven-time Olympic Medalist who christened the most recent ship, Celebrity Beyond, in 2022; Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of international nonprofit Girls Who Code who named Celebrity Apex in 2021; and Malala Yousafzai, Nobel laureate and activist, who introduced the revolutionary ship class when Edge launched in 2018.

"We are honored to have Captain Sandy and her sister Michelle join the legacy of Celebrity's Godmothers, as they are both inspirational women who have dedicated their lives to making a positive impact in the world," says Laura Hodges Bethge, Celebrity Cruises' President. "Captain Sandy's life story is one of resilience, leadership and strength, as a pioneer in the maritime industry and as an inspirational role model for young women. Her sister Michelle is a tireless advocate for children with autism and shows us what is possible when you follow your vision for a better world. Both women live by Celebrity's values, and we have no doubt they are the perfect choices for Ascent."

One of the most time-honored traditions at sea, the Godmother is the spiritual embodiment of a vessel - she is the woman who inspires, protects and positively impacts the lives of everyone who sails onboard. During Ascent's official naming ceremony on December 1, 2023, both sisters will bless and christen the ship, bringing good luck and protection for the crew and all passengers onboard.

About Captain Sandy Yawn:

Captain Sandy is the embodiment of resilience, surviving a life-threatening accident, cancer and struggles with addiction before launching her career in the yacht industry. Her unwavering integrity and courage have earned her an outstanding reputation, and her remarkable leadership and bravery during a catastrophic fire and pirate threat off the coast of Yemen, led to her receiving the prestigious Distinguished Crew Award from the International Superyacht Society in 2006.

As a best-selling author and motivational speaker, she is passionate about sharing her life stories to inspire others in overcoming obstacles and pursuing their dreams. Beyond her successful yachting career, she actively contributes to philanthropy, ocean advocacy, and children's education, showcasing her commitment to creating a positive impact on society.

"As I embark on this remarkable journey as a co-godmother of the Celebrity Ascent, I am deeply honored to represent not only the spirit of leadership but also the strength of women empowerment," says Captain Sandy Yawn. "This role serves as a reminder that women can steer their destinies with grace and determination, commanding the seas of possibility and inspiring others to follow their own paths with courage and conviction. I am so honored that my sister and I can share this distinction. She has always been my biggest inspiration in her selfless pursuit to help my nephew and other families impacted by autism."

About Michelle Dunham:

Michelle Dunham is the co-founder of the Jacksonville School for Autism (JSA), alongside her husband Mark. Michelle developed the model for JSA to give her son, Nicholas, the best opportunity to learn. Established in 2005, JSA is a not-for-profit private school as a full-service K-12 educational center for students and young adults with autism spectrum disorders, with a focus on whole child development and individualized programs that encourage both family and community involvement. JSA is as unique in its approach as the children they serve. Interwoven into the very fabric of what their program stands for is the necessity for each student to develop independence while improving the quality of their lives. Removing the layers of isolation, they are creating an inclusive environment for each student to be themselves in order to educate, engage and inspire. In March of 2020, JSA relocated to an expansive campus that embraces the lush landscape and provides both the staff and students with frequent opportunities for engagement with the outdoors and the introduction of a vocational gardening program.

"It fills my heart with immense pride to stand as co-godmother of the Celebrity Ascent, alongside my sister, Captain Sandy Yawn. As we embark on this journey, much like Celebrity Cruise's commitment to delivering exceptional vacations and enriching lives, we embrace the same spirit of compassion and positive change," says Michelle Dunham. "Together, we aspire to elevate lives, create boundless possibilities, and set sail towards a brighter, more inclusive future for all who grace our path through the charities we founded, Jacksonville School for Autism and Captain Sandy's Charities."

Oceania Cruises Offers a Taste of the Tropics with a Collection of Voyages Sailing the Exotic Caribbean and Tahiti
Oceania Cruises announced this week that it is offering a captivating array of 100 sailings in the Caribbean and Tahiti in 2024 and 2025, charting lesser-known coastlines and taking travelers to boutique ports and off-the-beaten-track islands thanks to the line's small, luxurious ships. Caribbean season highlights include Castries on the island of St. Lucia; Puerto Limon in Costa Rica; Gatun Lake in Panama; and Colombia's magnificent colonial city of Cartagena. Meanwhile, the must-sees in French Polynesia include vibrant Papeete, the paradise island of Nuku Hiva, and Bora Bora, the most romantic island in the world.

Sailing from Miami, Cartagena, New York, Los Angeles, Bridgetown, Panama and Papeete, this impeccable selection of carefully crafted voyages aboard Marina, Nautica, Sirena and Oceania Cruises' new ship, Vista, is ideal for travelers who dream of sojourns in tropical archipelagos and who wish to explore colonial cities and soak up the laid-back, island atmosphere. Voyages range from seven to 16 days, sailing to iconic Caribbean destinations including Bridgetown, Cartagena, Gustavia, Puntarenas, San Juan and St. John's. Many of these voyages feature memorable daylight passages through the Panama Canal, linking sought-after Caribbean destinations with storied Pacific Riviera ports such as Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Quetzal.

With more than 60 immersive ports of call, Oceania Cruises' carefully planned itineraries invite travelers to experience blissful escapes on delightfully less-traveled islands with the cruise line's smaller ships able to access boutique ports and yacht harbors in destinations such as Barbuda, Dominica and the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, and Moorea, Raiatea and Rangiroa in French Polynesia.

Coveted Caribbean attractions including St. Lucia's Pitons, Antigua's stunning choice of 365 white sand beaches, the blue cobblestone streets of Old San Juan and ancient sacred ruins like Chacchoben and Kohunlich from Costa Maya are on offer. Enjoy a daylight journey through the Panama Canal and visit some of Central America's most enticing destinations.

Sailing with Oceania Cruises is the most relaxing way to visit French Polynesia – an exotic utopia and haven of idyllic beauty and tranquility. From Tahiti and Bora Bora to the sapphire seas of Moorea, the line's South Pacific sojourns cover some of the most remote and gorgeous islands in the world, filled with blue lagoons, coral atolls and lingering sunsets. Carrying fewer than 700 guests, Nautica provides an intimate experience for travelers to explore the region, with 10-day itineraries designed to offer a unique flavor of this South Pacific jewel.

"At Oceania Cruises, we offer an extensive collection of destination-intensive Caribbean and Tahiti itineraries, allowing our well-traveled and curious guests to discover something new about these popular yet still relatively untouched regions," commented Frank A. Del Rio, President of Oceania Cruises. "Our carefully curated, diverse range of shore excursions, combined with the relaxing home-away-from-home ambiance on board our boutique ships and The Finest Cuisine at Sea, offers the perfect luxury vacation choice."

Caribbean Destination Highlights

On Colombia's Caribbean coast, travelers will marvel at the port city of Cartagena. By the sea is the walled Old Town, founded in the 16th century, with squares, cobblestone streets and colorful colonial buildings. Take a scenic drive through the residential area of Manga and admire the beautiful mansions and explore the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, a fort that was once the most important military structure built in Latin America. The nearby Islas del Rosario and Isla de Barú are a boat ride away offering white-sand beaches and coral reefs.

The beautiful freshwater Gatun Lake to the south of Colón has long been a favorite of eco-conscious visitors to Panama. Roughly the size of the island of Barbados, this expansive waterway was created during the construction of the Panama Canal and is now bursting with biodiversity. Wildlife such as sloths, capuchin and howler monkeys, iguanas, and toucans thrive in lush pockets around the lake, and manatee sightings are common. Set off on a safari boating adventure, a canopy tour or even a kayaking adventure to take in the area's lush flora and unique fauna. Chagres National Park is also within reach, home to an indigenous Emberá tribe and their village.

Castries, the capital of St. Lucia, is known for palm-lined Vigie Beach and duty-free shopping near the harbor. Explore this lush, beautiful island, visit the historic La Toc Battery Fort, see banana plantations and watch silk screening at Bagshaws. Venture south to Soufrière at the base of the Piton peaks and see the unique gingerbread architecture of the marketplace. Or enjoy a bike ride through the rainforest to a lovely waterfall, kayak in the deep blue Caribbean, or snorkel or dive to spectacular reefs.

In the thriving capital of San Juan, abundant culture and history intersect with lush surrounding natural beauty for a wide range of adventures. The Old World comes to life at impressive fortresses and charming Old San Juan. Explore the nearby El Yunque rainforest, a national treasure teeming with tropical birds and home to stunning waterfalls. Savor the local culture with a culinary walking tour, a heritage tour of an acclaimed rum distillery or a visit to one of the museums and galleries.

Tour the beautiful island of St. Barts and marvel at its rugged coastline and unspoiled, upscale atmosphere, unique in the Caribbean for its Swedish and French heritage. Enjoy the spectacular beaches and resorts, snorkel or dive in the crystalline waters or see underwater wonders from a semi-submersible marine vessel.

Tahiti Destination Highlights

Papeete, on the island of Tahiti, is the capital of French Polynesia, with much to offer visitors, from the Marche de Papeete, the Robert Wan Pearl Museum and the relaxing Jardins Paofai. Enjoy observing the surfers on their longboards as well as local highlights including Faarumai Waterfalls, the Arahoho Blowhole and the Maraa Fern Grottos.

On the dreamy island of Nuku Hiva – one of the most remote islands in French Polynesia – visit the entrancing Vaipo Waterfalls and Cascade Tevaipo, one of the world's tallest falls at over 1,100 feet. Wander the black-sand beaches, marvel at the giant tiki at Piki Vehini or get adventurous on an all-terrain vehicle excursion around the craggy island.

On Tahiti's sister island of Moorea, soak in the breathtakingly beautiful landscapes, from the verdant mountains to the azure seas and white-sand beaches. Enjoy a canoe ride through the crystal-clear lagoon, snorkel, scuba or helmet-dive the reefs, or immerse yourself in nature with a stunning hike up to the Afareaitu Waterfalls.

The dramatic Mount Otemanu stands watch over the sparkling turquoise waters and sugary sands of Bora Bora. Choose from a variety of activities including a reef-ringed lagoon tour, jet ski adventures, off-road adventures and a Polynesian day with lunch on a motu – a small sand island.

Pure, pristine and dreamlike, the ecosystem of the island of Fakarava is home to extremely rare birds, plants and crustaceans. Quaint villages, old coral churches and welcoming people are intertwined with a spectacular lagoon creating a paradise like none other in the world.

The South Pacific atoll of Rangiroa is a natural aquarium with its lagoon brimming with colorful marine life. Highlights include visits to pearl farms, diving with manta rays, exploring the atoll's unique winery or relaxing on a pink-sand beach.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.04 - 4.25%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 108.06 - 0.96%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 18.48 - 16.27%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which was the first cruise/passenger ship to have fin stabilizers?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
On what mass market cruise ship did former United States' President and Mrs.Carter sail on in the early 80's?

Answer - President and Mrs.Carter sailed on RCLs SOVERIEGN OF THE SEAS. courtesy of Richard MacGregory


Cruise News - July 31, 2023

Crystal Cruises Returns to Service
Today, Crystal officially relaunches under the new guardianship of A&K Travel Group, as Crystal Serenity sets sail following a multi-million-dollar refurbishment. Departing on its inaugural voyage today from Marseille, the cruise line's largest vessel accommodates 740 guests and is the first of two ships returning to service this summer.

With an industry-leading space-to-guest ratio (1 to 93.1 cu. ft.) and nearly one staff member per guest, Crystal Serenity fosters endless opportunities for inspiration and enrichment, complemented by unparalleled service. Larger, redesigned suites, award-winning specialty dining restaurants and restorative public spaces further expose passengers to heightened experiences enroute to the world's most sought-after destinations around the world.

"Crystal has been recognized for decades for exceptional experiences and we are excited to welcome guests back onboard for its new gilded era," said A&K Travel Group CEO, Cristina Levis. "In just one year, we've been able to revitalize the ships, a feat nearly unheard of in our industry. It is an honor to be signaling this new chapter better than ever and right on schedule, all while retaining 80% of Crystal's beloved crew on board."

Itineraries

After the first voyage from Marseille to Lisbon, Crystal Serenity will sail towards Northern Europe unearthing the most alluring locales including, UK, Ireland, and Iceland. The ship then travels to the Americas offering experiences as north as Canada to as south as Cartagena, Colombia, before beginning the 2024 World Cruise. Sailing from San Diego or Miami over the course of 125 nights, this highly anticipated voyage visits 29 countries and 62 breathtaking destinations and iconic landscapes.

Suites & Guest Rooms

Crystal enlisted leading cruise ship architectural firm, GEM, to guide the redesign of select guestrooms and suites. Accommodations feature neutral tones and high-end fixtures, complemented by subtle hues of pastel colors that resonate with the color of the ocean. Elevated details, contemporary craftsmanship, and artisanal finishes embody modern refinement, while the spacious layouts maximize in-room relaxation.

As part of the ship's refurbishments, there are two new guest room categories – the Jr. Crystal Penthouse Suite and Single Guest Room with Ocean View – that serve as an option for solo travelers without the worry of paying additional single supplements. These new categories will also increase the availability of the popular Sapphire Suite category.

• Single Guest Room with Ocean View: Cozy bedroom (up to 215 sq ft) redesigned in 2023, with welcoming and comfortable detailing, butler service, and ocean views.

• Sapphire Veranda Suite: Spacious suite (up to 430 sq ft) with living area, elegant finishings and private veranda, accompanied by attentive butler service. Sapphire suites are available to book in new and classic design.

• Junior Crystal Penthouse Suite: Redesigned in 2023, this large suite (up to 645 sq ft) includes spacious rooms with separate dining and living areas looking onto a private veranda, also accompanied by attentive butler service.

Dining

With eleven distinct dining options, including 24-hour in-suite dining service, guests have access to unparalleled culinary experiences:

• Umi Uma: The return of legendary Master Chef Nobuyuki (Nobu) Matsuhisa's Umi Uma – the only Nobu dining concept at sea where guests can enjoy award-winning, innovative Japanese-Peruvian cuisine.

• Osteria D'Ovidio: Fine Italian cuisine, featuring original menus and dishes created by talented Crystal chefs.

• Waterside Restaurant: Crystal's main dining room features open seating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

• The Bistro: A modern café and coffee bar with light snacks such as fresh pastries, bagels and fruit in the morning and a selection of international cheeses, pâtés, prosciutto, smoked salmon, and dessert delicacies throughout the afternoon.

• Trident Grill: Set poolside, Trident Grill features classic delights like burgers, melts, salads and more.

• Scoops Ice Cream Bar: Crystal's sumptuous desert bar features authentic Italian gelato with fresh toppings, frozen yogurt, homemade cookies and more.

• The Vintage Room: Offers intimate guided pairings and dinners highlighting the vast selection of wines in the ship's onboard cellar.

• Tastes Kitchen & Bar: Globally inspired cuisine and casual "family style" dining experience, Tastes offers tapas-style cuisine for guests to enjoy on their own or with newfound friends.

• Marketplace: A buffet style dining wrapped in floor to ceiling windows and a chic open air dining area.

Wellness

Crystal's new spa concept, Aurora, is set to be the most serene wellness destination at sea with a new design boasting light-bright neutral colors, an illuminated fiber optic starlight ceiling, organic materials and a natural salt crystal and silk brushed slate stone. The extensive treatment offerings include more signature facials, massage treatments and a full-service Salon. Highlights include:

• The Aurora LED and Cryo Facial Experience that instantly plumps and tones the skin.

• Biotec 2.0 The Ultimate Facial designed to reveal a youthful appearance after just one treatment.

• The Aurora Stone Signature Massage which incorporates hot stones for relaxed muscle.

Furthermore, Crystal recently announced the appointment of Dalila Roglieri as Head Nutritionist for the brand, rounding out the holistic wellness experience for guests.

Crystal Serenity's sister ship Crystal Symphony is currently undergoing renovations and will resume service for its inaugural voyage in Athens on Sept. 1.

Seabourn Takes Delivery of Seabourn Pursuit
Seabourn took delivery of its second expedition ship, Seabourn Pursuit, today during an official handover maritime ceremony at the T. Mariotti shipyard in Genoa, Italy. Seabourn Pursuit is the company's second purpose-built, ultra-luxury expedition ship and the newest expedition ship in the industry.

"I am honored to share this incredible moment with the entire Seabourn family as we welcome Seabourn Pursuit, our highly anticipated second ultra-luxury expedition ship, into our fleet," expressed Natalya Leahy, Seabourn President. "With remarkable craftsmanship by the Mariotti team, an abundance of space, and the breathtaking style of Tihany Design, Seabourn Pursuit raises the bar for ultra-luxury expedition travel. We are grateful to Mariotti and Tihany Design for their expertise in shaping and making our dream come true for our guests."

Leahy added that the state-of-the-art Seabourn Pursuit will provide the perfect combination of luxury and expedition. "Seabourn Pursuit offers the best of both worlds: our well-known signature luxury and elegance with the world of exploration and adventure. The ship is masterfully designed for our guests, who are extraordinary people looking for out of the ordinary experiences. Our guests will indulge in Seabourn's ultra-luxury style and enjoy our intuitive, personalized service, while the ship takes them to awe-inspiring destinations around the world that only few will ever visit in a lifetime."

"Today, one year after the delivery of Seabourn Venture, we are very happy to have completed and delivered her sister ship, Seabourn Pursuit," said Marco Ghiglione, Managing Director of T. Mariotti. "We are truly proud to have built the most outstanding ultra-luxury expedition ship for Seabourn, one of the leading cruise lines in the luxury market. This is another important masterpiece for Italian shipbuilding coming out of T. Mariotti shipyard, demonstrating again that our leadership in this sector is well consolidated. Thanks to Seabourn, all people involved in this journey, Lloyd's Register and the pencil of Adam Tihany, here is the new expedition jewel."

Seabourn Pursuit offers the same luxurious "yacht like" small ship experience that travelers have come to expect from Seabourn, enhanced by world-class equipment that allows the line to offer its widest range of expedition activities led by an expert 24-person expedition team of scientists, scholars, naturalists, and more. Seabourn Pursuit is designed and built for remote, diverse environments to PC6 Polar Class standards and will include a plethora of modern hardware and technology that will extend the ship's global deployment and capabilities. Seabourn Pursuit has close to 30,000 square feet of deck space and special touches at every turn. Those include indoor and outdoor guest areas with nearly 270-degree views, and a 4K GSS Cineflex Camera mounted on the mast of the Constellation Lounge capable of broadcasting imagery from miles ahead on monitors located throughout the ship and in guest suites.

In addition, Seabourn Pursuit, like the rest of the ships in the Seabourn fleet, offers an abundance of space and elegance, eight dining facilities serving gourmet cuisine, and luxurious all-suite accommodations, including a pair of two-level Wintergarden suites.

Seabourn Pursuit is scheduled to enter service August 12, 2023, and will sail five voyages in the Mediterranean before embarking on two voyages across the Atlantic and through the Caribbean. On October 10, 2023, the ship will arrive in Barbados to begin its expedition journeys, taking guests to remote corners of the globe. Seabourn Pursuit will head south for expeditions exploring coastal South America, the Amazon, and Antarctica into late March 2024.

Following its inaugural Antarctic season, the ship will head across the islands of the South Pacific and eventually to Australia, which will be the start of the line's first exploration of the Kimberley region in the Northern Territory and Western Australia between June and August 2024. The iconic Kimberley, with its red sandstone gorges, rivers, waterfalls, wildlife, and Aboriginal life and history, is the ideal setting for a truly, world-class expedition experience. In addition to the Kimberley, Seabourn Pursuit will visit Papua New Guinea, West Papua, Indonesia, and sail across the South Pacific between Chile and Melanesia between March and October 2024.

New Itineraries Highlight Princess Cruises 2025 Alaska Season
Princess Cruises has unveiled its 2025 Alaska cruise and cruisetours season, featuring three captivating roundtrip itineraries and an exclusive new National Parks Cruisetour. These remarkable offerings are available for booking starting August 3.

New Adventures and Extended Journeys Await, including a Departure from LA:

• Majestic Princess in Alaska

• Majestic Princess in Alaska

New for 2025 from the cruise line that brings the most guests to Alaska every year is a 22-day roundtrip voyage sailing from San Francisco on Ruby Princess that coincides with the Summer Solstice, and a 17-day roundtrip cruise from Seattle on Grand Princess featuring three days of scenic glacier viewing. For guests seeking to sail from Southern California, a new 16-day roundtrip Inside Passage voyage from Los Angeles on Grand Princess offers a convenient and affordable option.

National Parks Cruisetour

Following its debut in 2024, the National Parks Cruisetour returns in 2025 with a 15-night adventure to five of Alaska's most breathtaking parks. Guests will have the opportunity to explore Glacier Bay, Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias, Kenai Fjords National Parks, and Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Skagway. Unique to Princess, this experience combines a seven-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise, scenic rail travel, and multiple days on land, including stays at four Princess-owned wilderness lodges.

"As the market leader in Alaska, we're excited to offer guests even more exciting ways to see the natural beauty of Alaska with itineraries in 2025 that serve up new adventures and extended journeys that first-time guests and repeat visitors are going to find intriguing," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "We're also making it easier for guests to access an Alaska cruise by bringing back a roundtrip option out of Los Angeles, which also make it more affordable for millions within that drive market."

Caribbean Princess to Debut in Alaska in 2025

In 2025, seven Princess ships will sail to Alaska, including Caribbean Princess for the first time. In addition, the number of Princess homeports offering Alaska voyages expands to five with the addition of Los Angeles, with the season featuring 21 cruise destinations and four glacier-viewing experiences, highlighted by 88 visits to Glacier Bay National Park, taking more guests to this spectacular national park than any other cruise line.

With 155 total departures on 18 unique itineraries ranging in length from 4 to 22 days, cruise and cruisetour choices include:

Cruises – Seven Ships, Five Homeports

• NEW! Ultimate Alaska Solstice with Glacier Bay National Park: 22-day roundtrip from San Francisco on Ruby Princess – departs June 6, 2025

• NEW! Ultimate Alaska with Glacier Bay National Park: 17-day roundtrip from Seattle on Grand Princess – departs May 6, 2025

• Inside Passage with Glacier Bay National Park: 16-day roundtrip from Los Angeles on Grand Princess visiting Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay National Park, Sitka, Icy Strait Point, Ketchikan and Victoria, B.C. – departs August 30, 2025

• Voyage of the Glaciers: This top-rated seven-day itinerary features Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and two glacier-viewing experiences at Glacier Bay National Park and Hubbard Glacier or College Fjord. Caribbean Princess, Coral Princess, and Sapphire Princess offer weekly northbound and southbound cruises from Vancouver, B.C. to Anchorage (Whittier) and vice versa. Guests can combine select seven-day voyages for an amazing 14-day Voyage of the Glaciers Grand Adventure – operates May 10 to September 13, 2025.

• Inside Passage: Princess' signature seven-day roundtrip sailings from Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., as well as 11-day roundtrip departures from San Francisco and Vancouver that include four ports of call and a day of glacier viewing. Many Inside Passage cruises include Glacier Bay National Park. Discovery Princess and Royal Princess sail from Seattle weekly, May 4 – September 21, 2025. Grand Princess offers weekly cruises from Vancouver, B.C., May 27 – August 19, 2025. Ruby Princess sails 11-day cruises roundtrip from San Francisco May 4 – September 13, 2025.

• Alaska Samplers: Three itineraries of four to five days offer shorter voyages for guests looking for a quick getaway. Discovery Princess, Royal Princess and Grand Princess operate four-day, roundtrip voyages between Vancouver, B.C. to Seattle with a stop in Ketchikan – departing April 30, May 13 and May 23, 2025. Caribbean Princess sails a four-day, roundtrip cruise from Vancouver, B.C., with a visit to Ketchikan departing September 13, 2025, and a five-day roundtrip cruise from Vancouver, B.C., with stops in Sitka and Ketchikan sailing May 5, 2025.

Cruisetours

• More than 26 cruisetour options give guests variety of choice with four styles of travel including Denali Explorer tours, On Your Own options, Connoisseur Deluxe Escorted and Off the Beaten Path.

• The exclusive Direct-to-the-Wilderness rail service ensures a seamless transition between the ship in Whittier and the Denali area on the same day.

• Two Denali-area lodges, Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge and Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, provide unique perspectives for experiencing North America's tallest mountain.

Royal Caribbean Group Reports Second Quarter Earnings
Royal Caribbean Group today reported second quarter Earnings per Share of $1.70 and Adjusted Earnings per Share of $1.82. These results were significantly better than the company's guidance due to stronger pricing on closer-in demand and further strength in onboard revenue. As a result of the accelerating demand environment for its vacation experiences, Royal Caribbean said that it is increasing its 2023 Adjusted Earnings per Share guidance by 33% to $6.00 – $6.20.

"Our brands continue to fire on all cylinders, resulting in record yields and second quarter earnings significantly exceeding our expectations," said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. "Demand for cruising and our brands is exceptionally strong and we have seen another step change in booking volumes and pricing, leading us to now expect double-digit net yield growth for the full year. We also expect to achieve record Adjusted EBITDA per APCD and Return on Invested Capital this year and are well on our way toward achieving our Trifecta goals."

Key Highlights

Strong ticket pricing from both North America and Europe itineraries, combined with strength in onboard revenue, led to better-than-expected revenues in the second quarter and the significant increase in the company's full year outlook for revenue and earnings.

Second Quarter 2023:

• Gross Margin Yields increased 13.1% As-Reported, and Net Yields increased 12.9% in Constant-Currency (12.6% As-Reported), both compared to the second quarter of 2019.

• Gross Cruise Costs per Available Passenger Cruise Day ("APCD") increased 10.9% As-Reported, and Net Cruise Costs ("NCC"), excluding Fuel, per APCD increased 9.0% in Constant-Currency (8.6% As-Reported), both compared to the second quarter of 2019. Favorable timing of operating expenses was offset by the increase in stock compensation expense due to the rise in share price and expected financial performance.

• Total revenues were a record $3.5 billion, Net Income was $458.8 million or $1.70 per share, Adjusted Net Income was $491.7 million or $1.82 per share, Adjusted EBITDA was a record $1.2 billion and Operating Cash Flow was $1.4 billion.

Full Year 2023 Outlook:

• Net Yields are expected to increase 11.5% to 12.0% in Constant-Currency and As-Reported, compared to 2019.

• NCC, excluding Fuel, per APCD is expected to be up approximately 7.0% in Constant-Currency (6.7% As-Reported), compared to 2019. The increase in costs, relative to previous guidance, is driven by an increase in stock compensation expense due to the rise in share price and expected financial performance.

• Adjusted Earnings per Share for the full year are expected to be in the range of $6.00 to $6.20 per share.

Third Quarter 2023 Outlook:

• Net Yields are expected to increase 13.5% to 14.0% in Constant-Currency (14.0% to 14.5% As-Reported), compared to the third quarter of 2019.

• NCC, excluding Fuel, per APCD is expected to increase approximately 11.2% in Constant-Currency and As-Reported, compared to third quarter 2019. Approximately half of the cost increase compared to 2019 is related to structural costs, timing shift of operating expenses from the second quarter, and increase in stock compensation expense.

Adjusted Earnings per Share for the third quarter are expected to be in the range of $3.38 to $3.48 per share. Second Quarter 2023

Royal Caribbean said that it reported Net Income for the second quarter of $458.8 million or $1.70 per share compared to Net Loss of $(0.5) billion or $(2.05) per share for the same period in the prior year. Royal Caribbean said that it also reported Adjusted Net Income of $491.7 million or $1.82 per share for the second quarter compared to Adjusted Net Loss of $(0.5) billion or $(2.08) per share for the same period in the prior year.

Second quarter revenue significantly exceeded the company's guidance due to higher pricing and higher shipboard revenue across the company's key itineraries, including the Caribbean and Europe. Load factor for the second quarter was 105%.

Gross Cruise Costs per APCD increased 10.9% As-Reported, compared to 2019. NCC, excluding Fuel, per APCD increased 8.6% As-Reported and 9.0% in Constant-Currency, compared to 2019. Favorable timing of operating expenses drove NCC lower, however it was offset entirely by an increase in stock compensation expense related costs due to the significant rise in share price and expected financial performance.

Update on Bookings

Booking volumes in the second quarter remained significantly higher than the corresponding period in 2019 and at record pricing levels. Demand for 2023 sailings has significantly exceeded expectations and bookings for 2024 sailings are up significantly versus all prior years at record prices. Demand from the North American consumer has remained incredibly strong throughout the year, and booking volumes from European consumers who are booking European cruises this summer have accelerated.

The further increase in yield expectations for the year is the result of higher pricing and onboard revenue expectations for key itineraries, particularly in North America and Europe. Consumer spending onboard, as well as pre-cruise purchases, continue to significantly exceed 2019 levels driven by greater participation at higher prices.

As of June 30, 2023, the Group's customer deposit balance was at a record-high $5.7 billion.

Fuel Expense

Bunker pricing net of hedging for the second quarter was $682 per metric ton and consumption was 405,000 metric tons.

Royal Caribbean said that it does not forecast fuel prices and its fuel cost calculations are based on current at-the-pump prices, net of hedging impacts. Based on today's fuel prices, Royal Caribbean said that it has included $275 million of fuel expense in its third quarter guidance at a forecasted consumption of 408,000 metric tons, which is 55% hedged via swaps. Forecasted consumption is 54%, 60% and 40% hedged via swaps for the remainder of 2023, 2024 and 2025, respectively. The annual average cost per metric ton of the hedge portfolio is approximately $573, $509, and $496 for 2023, 2024, and 2025, respectively.

Smooth Sailing Aboard Carnival Breeze for Galveston Students Interested in Maritime Careers
Carnival Cruise Line welcomed 20 Galveston budding marine leaders from Galveston for a special tour of Carnival Breeze and presentation on career opportunities in the cruise industry as students from the Maritime Careers Summer Camp sponsored by Texas A&M University and the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce visited the ship today. As part of the special event, students heard from Carnival Breeze Captain Gaspare Marzullo, President and CEO of the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce Gina Spagnola and Galveston Wharves Port Director and CEO Rodger Rees. They also participated in a fun trivia game with surprise giveaways and were treated to lunch.

“We are so proud to have been operating in Galveston for the last 23 years and are honored to do our part to support local youth with efforts like this special ship tour,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We are deeply committed to the Galveston community and that commitment will only strengthen as we expand our operations and launch our newest ship, Carnival Jubilee, later this year.”

The Maritime Careers Summer Camp exposes rising eighth to 10th-grade students interested in maritime careers to a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The free week-long camp has served more than 100 Galveston County students since 2015. In addition to the visit to the Galveston Wharves and Carnival Breeze, the camp includes other experiences such as tours of the cargo port and naval vessels, visits to active military training facilities and hands-on work designing and constructing autonomous underwater vehicles.

“The Port of Galveston is an economic engine and a generator of jobs for our community,” said Rees. “These students have the fourth most popular cruise home port and a top U.S. cargo port right in their own backyards. It was a pleasure to educate them on the many job opportunities available to them in the maritime industry.”

Carnival was the first cruise line to launch year-round cruising from the Port of Galveston and the line will carry more than 650,000 guests from Galveston in 2023. Carnival Jubilee, the next new ship in the Excel class, will first sail from Galveston on Dec. 23, 2023, joining Carnival Breeze and Carnival Dream operating from Galveston year-round. In 2024, Carnival will increase its deployment to four ships when Carnival Miracle begins operating from the port.

“With this summer camp, the Chamber aims to inspire the next generation of Galveston maritime professionals,” said Spagnola. “We are so appreciative of Carnival for taking part in this year’s camp and know that this tour will go a long way in making an impact on our local students.”

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.84 + 5.55%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 109.11 + 6.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 22.071 + 6.05%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
On what mass market cruise ship did former United States' President and Mrs.Carter sail on in the early 80's?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which ocean liner and cruise ship has the distinction of having sailed with one, two and three funnels over her long career?

Answer - The ss Queen of Bermuda is the only cruise ship to have sailed with 1, 2, or 3 funnels over her career. Built with 3 funnels, down to 2 funnels during WWII, back to 3 funnels postwar then to 1 funnel during an early 60s refit to make her look more like her newer running mate the Ocean Monarch. courtesy of Larry P Macdonald


Cruise News - July 24, 2023

Carnival Jubilee Floats Out and Reveals Texas Star on Bow
Carnival Cruise Line’s next new ship, Carnival Jubilee, marked a key construction milestone as it floated out of the covered building dock at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany and revealed an important feature of its design: a Texas star proudly displayed on the bow.

“The Texas star on Carnival Jubilee’s bow is a symbol of our commitment to the Port of Galveston. As the first cruise line to sail year-round from Galveston, we have a long history with the community, and our next new ship is our latest investment in support of the local economy’s impressive growth while delivering innovative experiences for our guests,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “I’m looking forward to Carnival Jubilee showing off her Texas pride starting later this year.”

Hundreds of spectators gathered at the shipyard to get the world’s first look at the newest Carnival ship, and they also got a taste of Texas. A fun tailgate-style party, complete with snacks and drinks from Carnival partner PepsiCo, accompanied the ship’s float out.

Now, Carnival Jubilee moves into its next phase of construction alongside the shipyard’s outfitting pier. Over the weekend, Carnival Jubilee will briefly cast off from the pier to conduct various tests on the bow thrusters and stabilisers. Sea trials are scheduled for November.

Carnival’s newest ship is part of its groundbreaking Excel-class and will offer stunning features already wowing guests aboard her sisters Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration, including the next iteration of the first roller coaster at sea, BOLT: The Ultimate Seacoaster. Six fun-filled zones, two of which are completely unique to the ship and imaginatively themed to celebrate the ocean, offer extensive dining, beverage and entertainment options.

The ship will sail year-round on Western Caribbean itineraries beginning in late December – though she will not be the first Carnival Jubilee to sail from Galveston. Like her sisters, the ship shares a name with a classic Carnival ship, and the first Carnival Jubilee sailed from Galveston in 2002. The new Carnival Jubilee is four times larger than her predecessor and will bring four times the fun for Carnival guests to enjoy.

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Extensive Enhancements to Norwegian Joy
Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that Norwegian Joy will undergo enhancements in January 2024 to elevate the onboard guest experience with popular offerings, including a new Thermal Suite in the Mandara Spa and Salon, expanded Vibe Beach Club, 24 new staterooms, redesigned Three-Bedroom The Haven Premier Owner’s Suites and more.

When Norwegian Joy emerges from the three-week dry dock taking place from Jan. 22, 2024 to Feb. 12, 2024, guests will have access to an elevated onboard spa experience with a brand-new Thermal Suite, soon-to-be the largest of the Breakaway-Plus class ships. Designed with NCL guest feedback in mind, the debuting Spa Thermal Suite will boast a more centralized layout with an unparalleled arrival experience featuring elegant sculptures and an entrance corridor encompassed with waterfalls. A separate lounge area will feature three times as many of the popular hot tile loungers, and guests will be able to enjoy easy access to relaxing and reinvigorating experiences including a sauna, ice room and aromatic steam room. Additional innovative offerings include a new Biostation with IV Drip Therapy, an increasingly popular rejuvenating treatment delivering essential nutrients to the body; four-senses loungers for the ultimate sensory experience for deep relaxation; and Kneipp haptic foot therapy, which massages feet as guests walk across the pebbled moving stream that alternates between hot and cold foot baths. The all-new Thermal Suite will replace the Galaxy Pavilion, the ship’s virtual-reality complex.

“Delivering exceptional experiences across our fleet is what we strive to do,” said David J. Herrera, president of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We have listened to our guests and have taken action. With this revitalization we are adding some of the most beloved spaces and offerings across our ships to enhance the guest experience aboard Norwegian Joy. Guests will have a greater variety of staterooms to choose from and a world class, full-service spa to spend their days at sea fully immersed in relaxation.”

In an effort to continue to offer guests more choice of accommodations, the redesign will include repurposing a portion of the Observation Lounge to create 24 new balcony staterooms, as well as recategorizing 40 new spa balcony staterooms, which will include direct access to the Mandara Spa and the premiering Thermal Suite. Additionally, as a result of unprecedented demand, Norwegian Joy’s The Haven by Norwegian Premier Owner’s Suites with a Large Balcony will be expanded to three-bedrooms. The two suites will include three bedrooms; three and a half bathrooms; a fully renovated living room, master bedroom and outdoor balcony furniture; as well as a new separate dining room overlooking the forward-facing The Haven Horizon Lounge. The Haven by Norwegian is the Company’s exclusive ship-within-a-ship, and key-card access only complex featuring the most spacious suites and dedicated experiences including concierge service, a private pool area, restaurant and bar.

In addition, the ever-popular, and nearly always sold-out, exclusive adults-only Vibe Beach Club will be expanded, taking over the existing Laser Tag arena on Deck 20. The space will boast a similar layout to the Vibe Beach Club found on Norwegian Encore and Norwegian Bliss, with new private luxe cabanas.

Norwegian Joy will resume sailings post dry dock on Feb. 13, 2024, when she embarks on an 11-Day Transatlantic voyage from Southampton, United Kingdom to Miami. In March 2024, the ship will cruise seven-day round-trip Caribbean voyages from Miami before sailing to Bermuda from New York for summer 2024.

Celebrity Cruises Unveils New Flavors and Culinary Experiences
Celebrity Cruises this week un unveiled details of the culinary and beverage program planned for its highly-anticipated new ship, Celebrity Ascent. The fourth vessel in the line's revolutionary Edge Series, Ascent, will delight travelers with redesigned restaurants, a new immersive dinner experience, expanded food and cocktail menus, a new whiskey tasting experience, and a plant-based multi-course dinner.

"The memories we make with family and friends while sharing food and drink has long-been one of the most memorable parts of travel, and with Celebrity Ascent we sought every opportunity to make these experiences richer and even more exciting for our guests," says Laura Hodges Bethge, Celebrity Cruises' President. "Onboard Ascent there is something to delight every guest, whether it is the fine dining connoisseur with a palate for the world's best wines, the couple looking for an intimate and romantic night out, the family that desires to bond with their kids over a fun and high-energy experience, or the wellness-minded traveler desiring more plant-based, healthy options."

A New Le Voyage: Chef Daniel Boulud's Exclusive Restaurants at Sea

World renowned chef, Daniel Boulud, Celebrity's Global Culinary Ambassador, will bring his highly acclaimed restaurant concept at sea to Celebrity Ascent. The second installment of the highly rated fine dining venue, Le VoyageSM will feature an all-new design that creates a stunning scene and ambiance, featuring a new chandelier, captivating neutrals, plush banquet seating, and gold tones throughout. Guests will experience a global menu crafted by Chef Boulud himself that offers dishes from his personal travels and favorite places around the world. For the ultimate culinary experience, groups can reserve the Chef's Table – a private, 6-seat dining room that treats diners to a multi-course tasting dinner complete with exceptional wine pairings. In true Boulud fashion, diners are treated to his signature homemade madeleines at the end of each meal.

Plant-Based Flavors and Options Pop

One of the most captivating venues onboard Edge Series ships, Eden, is a window to the world, featuring three levels of sensory experiences completely wrapped in floor-to-ceiling windows. The multi-use venue offers a casual lunch café, a cocktail bar, an entertainment space, an outdoor terrace and a signature restaurant – all of which come alive at night with a fusion of music, libations, and performances unlike anything else at sea. One of the highlights of Eden is its signature restaurant, offering a culinary journey rooted in untouched, fresh and seasonal ingredients. With the arrival of Ascent, travelers will have the opportunity to experience global cuisine in its most pristine and untouched form through a new seven-course plant-based tasting menu. Each dish features ingredients that have been sourced from their original place of origin and presented in the most natural state. Menu highlights include dishes like the Golden Beet-Tomato Ceviche, Ajoblanco Panna Cotta, Roasted and Glazed Celeriac Steak, and Dry Rose Petals Masala Curry. Enjoyed as a tasting menu, or a la carte, diners can also opt for organic and vegan wine pairings.

Expanded Offerings at Main Dining Rooms and Redesigned Cosmopolitan Restaurant

With the Edge Series ships, Celebrity presented a new dining room concept, expanding offerings from one main dining room to four main dining restaurants –each offering a different style of cuisine and signature dishes. Onboard Ascent, travelers will continue to enjoy the option for New American cuisine at Cosmopolitan restaurant; Mediterranean at Cyprus; French contemporary at Normandie; and Italian at Tuscan. Combined, the four main dining restaurants offer travelers more than 84 different dishes to choose from. Guests of Cosmopolitan will be delighted by its new design inspired by the culture of champagne, featuring a new layout and seating throughout.

Specialty Dining Revamps at Le Petit Chef, Fine Cut and Blu

Celebrity continues to be the only cruise line to feature the immersive and high-tech Le Petit Chef dinner experience that has become a worldwide favorite. Each dinner features a multi-course menu that is brought to life by colorful and fun animations of a tiny chef who tells the story behind each dish. Each course's animation ends with a digital version of the dish, followed by the real-life dish placed seamlessly in front of the diner for a wow-worthy experience. Exclusively available on Ascent, guests will experience an all-new four-course dining show told in the style of a fairytale as the tiny chef comes across a mysterious magical cookbook with whimsical recipes full of surprises.

The crowd-favorite Fine Cut Steakhouse, recognized for its impressive selection of prime meats, from dry-aged filets to larger-than-life Tomahawk steaks, will now offer a new dish – the Lemon Poached Lobster Tail with melted leeks, shiitake mushrooms, lobster ravioli and a house made beurre Blanc sauce. Meanwhile, guests of the wellness-minded Aqua Class will enjoy the opportunity to dine al fresco for breakfast or dinner in Blu's new outdoor terrace space.

Raising a Glass and Raising the Bar with New Drink Offerings

Celebrity Cruises is renowned for its extensive spirits tasting program, which currently includes partnerships with Jack Daniel's and Macallan. For Ascent the brand will be going even further to delight the most experienced beverage connoisseur through a new exclusive partnership with WhistlePig Whiskey. Brought to life in close collaboration with Chief Blender, Meghan Ireland, Ascent will feature two hand-selected barrels made exclusively for Celebrity Cruises. Available at Craft Social, guests can enjoy a Special Bespoke Barrel Aged 12 Years and Special Single Barrel Aged 10 Years, either as a la carte options or as part of a tasting flight that also features WhistlePig PiggyBack 100 Proof Bourbon (Aged 6 Years), WhistlePig 10, and WhistlePig 12.

With more than 100 Wine Spectator awards in over a decade, and still the only cruise line to ever receive the coveted "Best Of" Award of Excellence, no other cruise line delights wine lovers more. Three of Celebrity Ascent's venues were recognized at the 2023 Wine Spectator Awards, with Le Voyage and Tuscan being recipients of the "Best Of" Award of Excellence, and Fine Cut becoming an Award of Excellence winner. Wine aficionados will enjoy each of the venue's extensive wine lists, as well as Ascent's expert certified sommeliers, and signature wine tasting seminars and world tour experiences.

At the heart of each Edge Series ship is The Grand Plaza with the signature wrap-around Martini Bar as the main focal point. Sitting beneath The Chandelier, a breathtaking light fixture-meets-art installation that comes alive each night during the iconic Flair Bartender Shows. Here, a group of expert mixologists put on a high-energy show where they create a tower of martinis while dancing to choreography and showcasing their skills. The Martini Bar on Ascent will feature an expanded new menu, offering classic martinis, fruit-infused creations, and tantalizing desert martinis.

Celebrity Ascent will make its grand debut this November, as it sets sail from Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades for its inaugural Caribbean season.

Seabourn Reveals Design Details for New Expedition Vessel Seabourn Pursuit
Seabourn is revealing the stunning design details of its second purpose-built expedition ship, Seabourn Pursuit, scheduled to launch in August 2023.

As fashioned by esteemed multi-disciplinary studio Tihany Design, led by Managing Partner Alessia Genova and Founder Adam D. Tihany, Seabourn Pursuit is finely tuned with decorative details such as lighter bedding accoutrements that align with its primary dedication to warm-water excursions in more tropical destinations. Suites will also be outfitted with lush blankets and fur pillows, for instance, for the ship's inaugural year explorations of Antarctica, running from late November 2023 to late March 2024.

"Seabourn Pursuit is our newest crown jewel, where guests will experience the perfect blend of ultra-luxury design combined with elevated expedition experiences," said Seabourn President, Natalya Leahy. "While exploring remote locations around the world, our guests will immerse in a home-away-from-home designed with luxurious spaces in mind to reflect the natural beauty guests will experience aboard Seabourn Pursuit. This state-of-the-art expedition ship is truly a celebration of the creative energy and input of our design collaborator, Tihany Design, and we are proud to welcome Seabourn Pursuit to our ultra-luxury fleet."

Design Highlights

Seabourn Pursuit, along with its sister expedition vessel Seabourn Venture, feature a custom-made furniture collection developed by Tihany Product Design that is tailored to the character and experiential premise of each on board space even as it defines the look of the Seabourn brand. The bespoke furniture line, produced by world renowned Italian furniture manufacturer Roda, combines authentic Italian craftsmanship with state-of-the-art technology and innovation, with furnishings that celebrate the quality and design of the tools and clothing used in exploration. Framed in wood and metal, pieces radiate a sense of luxurious handcrafted ruggedness with textured fabric and leather, giving unmatched bespoke identity to every corner of the ship across its nine decks, and 132 oceanfront suites.

Details in suites include custom-designed switches on the bedside light panel that appear vintage and yet are ultra-contemporary in function, parchment-inspired wall panels finished with digitally printed wall laminate material that mimics wood with alluring, granular detail; heated flooring with wooden-look tiles; carpeting designed with organic shapes; and furniture with wood frames, exposed rivets, and bronze inlays. The duplex Wintergarden and Grand Wintergarden Suites feature a sculptural staircase leading to the bedroom, and advanced technology including a roll-up, tuck-away TV to preserve seamless, double-height views (two decks).

Noteworthy design details continue in public areas throughout Seabourn Pursuit. The Discovery Center, for instance, which houses an immersive large screen for lectures and video experiences, has an academic, enriching environment inspired by the landscape of Antarctica, incorporating a natural colour palette and organic shapes of topography maps that play off the elegant curves of plush custom seating and a unique textured liquid metal wall covering.

Within the comfortable and engaging Expedition Lounge, two fireplaces producing lifelike water vapor flames and a vintage map on an etched glass partition combine to create an enchanting ambiance that calls to the memories of past adventures. Custom furniture designed with warm natural materials and textures create a space that is inviting and tactile while echoing the sense of quality and craftsmanship of the instruments and tools of early explorers.

The inviting Seabourn Square is the living room of the ship, offering a variety of outdoor settings for guests to relax in comfort and take in views with the aid of fixed Swarovski telescopes. Wood-backed scalloped banquettes and Tihany Product Design lounge chairs encircle live edge wood coffee and side tables, creating intimate gathering spaces. Wrapped in riveted leather wall panels, the room is topped with an overlapping circular panel ceiling, adding dimension and recalling the symmetrical composition of a compass. The Argyle-influenced carpet pattern adds warmth, and thoughtfully curated bookshelves, expedition art and accessories paint the picture of an explorer's private home decked out with mementos and discoveries.

Ultra-Luxury Gathering Spaces

The overall design scheme of Seabourn Pursuit balances the exploration theme with the comfort and luxury of an expedition vessel. Guests are encouraged to relax and enjoy downtime to complement daily adventures off ship, with interiors that carefully integrate light and space, a warm colour palette, and natural fibres. Different areas work together to optimize smooth passenger flow, inspiring a sense of ease throughout.

• The Atrium connects all guest-area decks via an elegant staircase with a sky-lit space complete with wood and metal finishes with details including rhythmically placed rope work and a topography-inspired liquid metal wall treatment. The diamond-shaped floor pattern emphasizes a captivating artwork created at the base of the space.

• The Landing Zone is the ship's utility space where guests change, clean, and store boots and gear following excursions. Reimagined by Tihany Design as a comfortable setting of sleek, modern design, the Landing Zone combines a durable material palette of floor tile, wood, and metal details with rivet accents to evoke the characteristics of luggage as well as the orange-tinged uniforms of the crew.

• The Bow Lounge on Deck 6 provides the closest access to the water via the foredeck, making it a prime destination to watch for marine life. Comfortable and engaging, the lounge is designed to mimic elements of the Captain's bridge, with expansive windows and interactive monitors displaying updated information about the day at sea. Touch screens offer a live map, weather information and more.

• The Constellation Lounge offers stunning, 270-degree views as far as guests' eyes can see. Set on the top deck, its intimate interior is an ode to constellations, with a dark blue and red palette accented by silver and bronze metals and intricate stone floors, and lighting that generates a shimmering star-like pattern across the ceiling. A central bar is fashioned from faceted metal and stone and illuminated by a unique diamond-shaped lighting cove. Velvet banquettes and sling-back chairs by Tihany Design create a seductive and relaxed environment for enjoying live music.

• The Club features expansive windows, making it an ideal spot to watch the amazing scenery and wildlife. Fashioned with design touches using brilliant hues of blue and green inspired by the deep-sea and unique art displays, The Club has an impressive water-vapor fireplace set like buried treasure at the center of the venue, and a dedicated stage and dance floor for live performances. It also includes an extraordinary sushi experience, offering a variety of hand-prepared sushi bites freshly made to order every evening.

• The ship's Spa & Wellness integrates the design concept of a contemporary "floating forest," with details such as a tree-inspired textured art mural, light wood and bronze material palette, and reception done up with live wood features. The fitness center and yoga areas feature an open wall of floor-to-ceiling windows for striking views looking out onto the world around you.

• The Restaurant merges bold lines and shapes with softness reminiscent of falling snow. Leather wall paneling is brought to life with a unique three-dimensional diamond arrangement and visible stitching, while geometric carpeting in blue and purple surrounds a porcelain tile floor that recalls the natural sediment of a geode. Custom-designed dining chairs produced by renowned Italian furniture manufacturer Roda echo craftsmanship throughout the ship with rich burgundy leather, textured fabric seat back, exposed rivet details, and wood frame. A wine display encased in bronze framed glass will inspire conversation as sophisticated as its inventory.

• The casual Colonnade dining space on Deck 5 takes inspiration from historic maritime design with a ceiling of riveted curved wood panels evoking the feel of a wooden hull of an early expedition ship, decorative metal plate details, wood flooring, and art displays of intricate nautical knots. Buffet stations are dressed up with three-dimensional textured tile and white stone countertops and set beneath a sleek copper ceiling for the feeling of a working kitchen. Guests are welcome to dine outside on the aft deck, home to an infinity-style pool, two whirlpools, and a pair of sculptural showers.

HAL's New '42-Day Ultimate Mediterranean & Atlantic Passage' in 2024 is Inspired by a Cruise from a Century Ago
Holland America Line is adding another Legendary Voyage to its diverse roster of lengthier cruises from convenient gateways. The "42-day Ultimate Mediterranean & Atlantic Passage" aboard Volendam departing Nov. 9, 2024, was inspired by a voyage the cruise line operated nearly 100 years ago. Perfectly designed for today's traveler, the 2024 departure sails roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, allowing guests to experience 16 different ports across nine countries, all without international air.

"We're excited to add a longer voyage that makes it easy to explore the Med in depth without a long-haul flight."

The original voyage that provided the vision for the "42-day Ultimate Mediterranean & Atlantic Passage" departed New York City Feb. 4, 1925, aboard Rotterdam IV and carried just 550 guests across the Atlantic Ocean to explore many of the same ports. The 2024 cruise follows in the footsteps of the 1925 journey, visiting Portugal, Morocco, Italy, Greece, Israel, Egypt, Tunisia, Gibraltar (United Kingdom) and Spain.

"Holland America Line was one of the first companies to feature cruise vacations that went beyond a transatlantic crossing, and today we're continuing to innovate our itineraries by offering memorable voyages like this ultimate Mediterranean and Atlantic passage sailing," said Beth Bodensteiner, chief commercial officer, Holland America Line. "Since introducing this new Legendary category of cruises that offer an in-depth focus on one region, they've been very popular. We're excited to add a longer voyage that makes it easy to explore the Med in depth without a long-haul flight."

The "42-day Ultimate Mediterranean & Atlantic Passage" route first visits Horta and Ponta Delgada in the Azores after crossing the Atlantic Ocean. A call at Tangier, Morocco, is followed by overnight visits to both Livorno and Civitavecchia, Italy. From Livorno, guests can explore Florence or Pisa, while Rome is easily accessed from Civitavecchia. Volendam then makes way to Naples, Italy, and Catania, Sicily, before Piraeus (Athens), Greece.

Guests will then explore the Holy Land at Haifa (Tel Aviv) and Ashdod (Jerusalem), Israel, followed by Port Said and Alexandria (Cairo), in Egypt. The final ports on the voyage include La Goulette (Tunis), Tunisia; Gibraltar; Cadiz (Seville), Spain: and Casablanca, Morocco. The cruise concludes Dec. 21 at Fort Lauderdale.

These lengthier cruises, which range from 25 to 59 days, combine the ceremony of Holland America Line's Grand Voyages while focusing on a singular region. They visit some of the most unique ports while offering guests an in-depth exploration. Shipboard programming is specially curated to share insights into the history and culture of the destinations visited.

Most of Holland America Line's Legendary Voyages sail roundtrip or to/from a North American homeport, allowing travelers to see the world from their doorstep with a convenient domestic flight and easy embarkation. The itineraries are offered on a variety of the line's perfectly sized ships where guests enjoy the "best of" Grand Voyages on-board programming such as iconic theme parties, memorable sailaways and classic cruise activities to further enhance the experience.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 17.85 + 0.79%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 102.93 + 4.22%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 20.81 + 0.24%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which ocean liner and cruise ship has the distinction of having sailed with one, two and three funnels over her long career?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Some of the inside cabins P&O's s/s Canberra had an interesting feature that made them brighter than inside cabins on most other cruise ships. What was the feature?

Answer - The interesting feature that Canberra had that made some of the inside cabins were windows that looked out into a "court". These cabins, called "court cabins", were built in such a way that the they were staggered down the corridor and the wall of the innermost cabin jutted slightly passed that of the more outer cabin and had a window placed there - thus light from the outside would penetrate these inside cabins. They were usually 3 deep. courtesy of Timothy Edgecombe


Cruise News - July 17, 2023

Regent Names Godmother for Newest Cruise Ship
Regent Seven Seas Cruises today announced that Sarah Fabergé, Founding Member of The Fabergé Heritage Council and great-granddaughter of Peter Carl Fabergé, will serve as Godmother to the ship that will embody A Heritage of Perfection, Seven Seas Grandeur.

Sarah will christen the ship at an elegant and exclusive gala event in Miami, Florida on December 10, 2023, which will also feature incredible entertainment from Emmy and Tony Award-Winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth.

The Seven Seas Grandeur will then embark on a three-night Caribbean christening cruise, before returning to Miami for its maiden Caribbean season.

“As a founding member of the Fabergé Heritage Council, Sarah symbolizes the shared ethos and distinctive qualities that define our two eminent luxury brands and is therefore the ideal Godmother of our newest ship, Seven Seas Grandeur,” said Andrea DeMarco, President of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “We are deeply honored to name Sarah Fabergé as Godmother, and I am delighted to welcome her to the Regent Seven Seas Cruises family.”

DeMarco continued: “Seven Seas Grandeur has been inspired by the past and stunningly reimagined for the future, exemplifying our heritage of perfection with unrivaled space, unparalleled service, epicurean perfection, and transformative experiences that begin the moment guests step aboard. Fabergé’s storied legacy of unwavering perfection, unparalleled craftsmanship, and relentless pursuit of excellence aligns harmoniously with the core values of our own distinguished luxury brand.”

“Today’s Fabergé looks to the ingenuity of my great-grandfather, Peter Carl Fabergé and his constant pursuit of excellence,” said Sarah Fabergé, Director of Special Projects and Founding Member of the Fabergé Heritage Council. “I am honored to be Godmother to this extraordinary new ship which, like Fabergé, has been inspired by the past and reimagined for the future, and I also look forward to hosting Regent guests onboard Seven Seas Grandeur for my exclusive Spotlight Voyage in 2024”.

Great-granddaughter of Peter Carl Fabergé – the legendary artist-jeweler and creative and entrepreneurial genius behind the world-renowned company that bore his name – Sarah is member of the Fabergé Heritage Council which helps to support the Fabergé Management Team in its pursuit of excellence and exclusivity and provides guidance on Peter Carl Fabergé and his legacy.

As part of Regent’s partnership with Fabergé, Sarah will wear bespoke earrings and a ring specifically designed for the upcoming Christening event. These pieces, made of 18k white gold and featuring blue guilloché enamel, white diamonds and pearls, will not only grace Sarah as an ensemble during this elegant event but will also be auctioned to raise money for charity in 2024, the company said.

The proceeds from this auction will be donated to the Gemfields Foundation, the charitable arm of Gemfields which is the parent company of Fabergé. The foundation is dedicated to undertaking various activations designed to address poverty alleviation in communities and wildlife conservation in sub-Saharan Africa. Notably, the charity’s impactful projects span countries which Regent visits, such as Madagascar and Mozambique.

Sarah’s appointment as Godmother to Seven Seas Grandeur comes in celebration of Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ partnership with Fabergé. As part of the collaboration, Regent previously announced the commission of a one-of-a-kind, meticulously hand-crafted objet d’art known as Journey in Jewels. This exquisite Fabergé egg will hold the distinction of being the first-ever permanent resident of its kind on the open seas, proudly serving as the crowning jewel within the ship’s awe-inspiring multi-million-dollar art collection.

Additionally, Sarah will host a Fabergé Spotlight Voyage on board Seven Seas Grandeur, sailing July 1, 2024, enveloping luxury travelers into the world of Fabergé with small group master-class programs, exclusive access to unique and intimate shore-side tours, jeweled egg demonstrations and fascinating lectures and screenings. The 10-night sailing will depart from Rome (Civitavecchia) and cruise the Mediterranean, calling in Salerno, Italy; Taormina (Sicily), Italy; Valletta, Malta; Palma de Mallorca; Barcelona, Spain; Provence (Marseille), and Antibes, France before ending at Monte Carlo.

Carnival Begins Fleetwide Rollout of New Dining Room Offerings
Following a successful pilot on Carnival Dream, Carnival Cruise Line is rolling out new dinner menus for its dining rooms in a phased approach across the fleet beginning with Carnival Conquest today. The new menus bring more variety to its dining room offerings with dozens of new dishes curated by Chief Culinary Officer Emeril Lagasse in conjunction with Carnival chefs. Among the many new menu items are Emeril Selects, which are personally recommended by the renowned chef and restauranteur.

“Food is an ever-evolving art, so our approach to the dining room offerings is to infuse a selection of new dishes, feature more international flavors and complement the Carnival classics our guests love,” said Lagasse. “Working with our skilled team of Carnival chefs, we recently tested and selected more than 60 new dishes to mix into the dining room rotation. I’m pleased that these dishes were very well received by our guests on Carnival Dream, so we are very excited to roll them out to the Carnival fleet.”

Guests embarking Carnival Conquest in Miami today will be the next to experience the enhanced offerings, followed by Carnival Horizon and, next month, four more ships, Carnival Sunrise, Carnival Vista, Carnival Radiance and Mardi Gras, will implement the changes as well. Each month, the new menu items will be introduced aboard several ships based in Carnival’s U.S. homeports into early 2024. Carnival’s Australia-based ships will implement the new menu items later next year.

A sampling of items guests will find on the newly enhanced menus is summarized below. In addition, dining room menus will include a periodic rotation of offerings from Carnival’s well regarded specialty restaurants.

Palate-Pleasing Additions Bring New Flavors Aboard

• Hawaiian Shrimp Poke – a flavorful starter that combines avocado, edamame, rice, creamy spicy sauce, togarashi chili and wakame.

• Roasted Duck Rolls – a delicious appetizer made with rice paper and scallions and served with sweet garlic sauce.

• Pappardelle with Braised Lamb – an Italian-inspired first course featuring tomato cream sauce, garlic and parsley.

• Grilled Swordfish – a tasty seafood entrée that’s served with smashed fingerling potatoes, fava beans and cherry tomato salad in a citrus saffron sauce.

• Cornish Game Hen – an elegant entrée served with roasted root vegetable and pan gravy.

• Salad Entrees –the Ultimate Cobb Salad, the Asian Chopped Salad with Chicken, and the Beefsteak Salad.

• Desserts – the Dutch Double Chocolate Pave, a rich chocolate cake, along with a refreshing Banana Cream Pie.

‘Emeril Selects’ Elevates Dining Experience

• Crab and Shrimp Cake – this seafood appetizer is served over charred corn and apple slaw and remoulade sauce.

• Beef Carpaccio – mascarpone-truffle cream flavors this Italian-inspired appetizer.

• Coffee Glazed Roast Duck – Creole potato wedges accompany this delectable duck entrée.

• BBQ Salmon – house-made Worcestershire sauce flavors this entrée that’s served with an Andouille potato hash and topped with fried onion rings.

Carnival Classics Continue to Flavor the Fun

• Escargots Bourguignonne – this popular appetizer features shallots, garlic and parsley Pernod butter.

• Stuffed Mushrooms – spinach, Romano cheese and truffle herb velouté complete this tasty appetizer.

• 12-Hour Braised Short Ribs – this mainstay entrée is served with green beans, chive mashed potato and a truffle au jus.

• Classic Beef Wellington – A delicious beef fillet is wrapped in puff pastry and served with sweet and sour Brussels mushroom Madeira sauce.

• Chocolate Melting Cake – This rich and warm chocolate dessert is one of Carnival’s most popular dishes of all-time and the perfect complement to a scoop of ice cream.

• Bitter & Blanc – another guest-favorite, this bread pudding dessert is made all the tastier and more flavorful with a cinnamon dulce sauce.

Oceania Announces a New Collection of Enticing Mediterranean Sailings for 2024
Oceania Cruises offers an incredible lineup of immersive experiences across the Mediterranean in 2024, allowing guests to experience numerous cultural capitals and lesser-known gems. Sailing from cities including Rome, Barcelona, Lisbon, Athens and London, this exquisite selection of carefully crafted voyages aboard Marina, Riviera, Sirena and Oceania Cruises' newest ship, Vista, is ideal for travelers who wish to delve into this region's rich history and ancient cultures, cuisine and traditions. Sailings range from seven days to a 59-day Grand Voyage from Miami to Rome.

With 94 distinct itineraries spanning the entire region, and hundreds of small-group, immersive shore excursions to choose from, these itineraries offer guests the opportunity to savor la dolce vita, whether they enjoy searching for truffles in the countryside close to Rome, exploring Santorini's lesser-known active volcanoes or learning flamenco in Seville.

Food & Wine Trails tours and Culinary Discovery Tours offer the chance to dive into the traditions of Mediterranean cooking, with intimate food- and wine-focused tours designed for epicurean travelers. Beyond Blueprints tours elevate guests' appreciation for architecture with behind-the-scenes looks at some of the world's most iconic buildings and landmarks. Go Green tours offer enriching opportunities to experience how local communities and businesses conserve, sustain and elevate their surrounding environments, and Oceania Cruises' Go Local tours invite travelers to truly embed themselves into communities for engaging, one-of-a-kind experiences.

"We are delighted to offer such an extensive range of destination-intensive Mediterranean itineraries, allowing our well-traveled and curious guests to look at beloved Mediterranean destinations through a different lens," commented Frank A. Del Rio, President of Oceania Cruises. "Our carefully curated diverse range of shore excursions, plus the relaxing home-away-from-home ambiance on board our boutique ships, offers the perfect luxury vacation choice."

Destination Highlights

Sitting on the island of Sicily, famed for its cathedrals, vineyards and island beaches, Syracuse is a 2,700-year-old city, notable for its rich Greek and Roman history. Guests can explore the ancient ruins of Siracusa, gaze at Mount Etna and cruise around Ortigia Island, Syracuse's most picturesque asset.

Perched on the Costa Blanca, Valencia is the historic paella capital of Spain. Here, guests have the chance to visit a local farm and pick fresh ingredients to make their own authentic paella. Famed for its seafood, oranges and its striking City of Arts and Sciences, guests can explore this city by bike, taking in the old town and the 13th-century cathedral.

For those looking to expand their historical knowledge, Ephesus, Turkey, is a must-visit. Browse the Ephesus Museum, which details how this ancient port city was once the most important trading post in the Mediterranean region. Crafty visitors might like to take in a carpet weaving demonstration, learning the traditional ways in a handicraft center, or mingle with locals in a small village outside Ephesus and join them for a hearty breakfast after choosing to help with their harvest.

Provence in southern France offers some of the most picturesque vistas and enticing flavors of the Mediterranean. Stroll the classic streets and squares of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence with a lavender ice cream, discovering where Van Gogh lived in the 18th century. Guests can also expand their palates with cheese and wine tasting in Avignon or explore the medieval villages and lavender museum of Luberon. Foodies can go searching for black truffle "diamonds" in the Provençal countryside, which will be paired with local wines in a subsequent tasting.

A call in Montenegro offers some of the most powerful contrasts for guests to explore. Discover Kotor, where the Montenegrin mountains rise up opposite the stunning cerulean Boka Bay. Walk the Kotor City Walls in an exclusive group tour of just 16 and visit the neoclassical Museum of King Nikola. Alternatively, board a small boat to explore the enchanting Gospa Islet from the water, which, legend has it, was created by dropping a rock into the bay after each successful voyage.

Santorini is one of the most iconic gems of the Mediterranean, with much to offer even the most seasoned of travelers. Enjoy a cocktail or a wine tasting amid the stunning white walls that make up Santorini, taking in the famous views of the turquoise Ionian Sea. The more adventurous can climb to the crater's rim of a still-active volcano on the 400-year-old islet of Nea Kameni, and then refresh with a swim in the warm thermal springs.

2024 Voyage Highlights

Oceania Cruises will offer its guests simply MORE than ever before, with free roundtrip airfare, free airport transfers, a free shore excursion credit up to $1,600 and a free beverage package for all guests, for all new reservations beginning July 1, 2023, for sailings departing October 1, 2023, or later. Created to elevate the guest experience, the newly unveiled value promise has been designed to create long-lasting memories in enticing destinations and provide access to exquisite indulgences.

Seafarer's Inspiration: 59 Days from Miami to Rome aboard Sirena, overnighting in Seville and Bordeaux and visiting Jost Van Dyke, Roseau, Bridgetown, Porto Grande, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Arrecife, Agadir, Casablanca, Gibraltar, Portimão, Lisbon, Santiago de Compostela, Saint-Malo, London, Edinburgh, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Holyhead, Waterford, Plymouth, Bilbao, La Coruña, Oporto, Tangier, Almeria, Alicante, Barcelona, Valencia, Palma de Mallorca, Mahon, Sete, Saint-Tropez, Monte Carlo, Portofino, Propriano and Florence/Pisa/Tuscany. Departs March 27, 2024.

Ionian & Adriatic Seas: 10 Days from Valletta to Venice (Trieste) aboard Vista, overnighting in Istanbul, and visiting Ephesus, Mykonos, Athens, Dubrovnik, Pula/Rovinj. Departs April 21, 2024.

Classical Mediterranean: 14 Days from Barcelona to Rome aboard Marina, visiting Valencia, Palma de Mallorca, La Goulette, Valletta, Syracuse, Argostoli, Santorini, Athens, Izmir, Messina and Sorrento. Departs May 18, 2024. Featuring chef, cookbook author and television personality Sara Moulton.

Mediterranean Fascination: 19 Days from Jerusalem to Rome aboard Riviera, overnighting in Jerusalem (Haifa) and visiting Jerusalem (Ashdod), Limassol, Rhodes, Santorini, Taormina, Naples/Pompeii, Rome, Florence/Pisa/Tuscany, Saint-Tropez, Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Propriano, Cagliari, Palermo and Amalfi/Positano. Departs May 29, 2024.

Aegean Icons: 11 Days from Jerusalem to Athens aboard Vista, overnighting in Jerusalem (Haifa) and visiting Jerusalem (Ashdod), Paphos, Alanya, Marmaris, Patmos, Ephesus, Volos, Thessaloniki, Mykonos. Departs June 1, 2024.

Greco-Roman Gateway: 10 Days from Rome to Istanbul aboard Riviera, overnighting in Istanbul and visiting Sorrento/Capri, Catania, Valletta, Taranto, Katakolon, Corfu, Izmir. Departs June 17, 2024.

Yachts & Masterpieces: 24 Days from Venice (Trieste) to Athens aboard Vista, overnighting in Istanbul and visiting Korcula, Split, Kotor, Igoumenitsa, Katakolon, Taormina, Amalfi/Positano, Rome, Ajaccio, Monte Carlo, Provence, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Saint-Tropez, Florence/Pisa/Tuscany, Olbia/Porto Cervo, Naples/Pompeii, Messina and Bozcaada. Departs June 29, 2024.

Mediterranean & Beyond: 30 Days from Athens to Barcelona aboard Vista, overnighting in Istanbul and Lisbon and visiting Mykonos, Ephesus, Rhodes, Valletta, Palermo, Amalfi/Positano, Rome, Florence/Pisa/Tuscany, Monte Carlo, Provence, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Almeria, Málaga, Seville, Funchal, Santa Cruz de la Palma, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Arrecife, Agadir, Casablanca. Departs September 3, 2024.

Picturesque Rivieras: 7 Days from Monte Carlo to Barcelona aboard Riviera, visiting Florence/Pisa/Tuscany, Rome, Ajaccio, Provence, Port-Vendres and Palma de Mallorca. Departs September 4, 2024.

Timeless Turkey & Greece: 17 Days from Istanbul to Venice (Trieste) aboard Riviera, overnighting in Istanbul, and visiting Kavala/Philippi, Ephesus, Rhodes, Alanya, Bodrum, Santorini, Athens, Mykonos, Izmir, Bari, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Pula/Rovinj. Departs October 8, 2024.

Holland America Line Leads Alaska Cruising with Most Glacier, Wildlife and Wilderness Viewing Opportunities
The riches of the wilderness take center stage on Holland America Line's Alaska cruises as the region's natural wonders and rugged beauty unfold. With the most visits to Alaska's glaciers and more ways to see wildlife and wilderness on a shore excursion than any other cruise line, Holland America Line is weaving more than 75 years of Alaska expertise into every facet of the experience.

As the 2025 season opens for booking, Holland America Line is building on the top reasons travelers choose an Alaska cruise — to see glaciers and wildlife — by offering the most Glacier Bay permits in the cruise industry, the most glacier viewing experiences and the most opportunities to see the animals of Alaska with nearly 180 shore excursions that take guests on a wildlife and wilderness encounter.

"Guests choose an Alaska cruise because they want to see a glacier up close and whales in the wild, and we're proud to be number-one in these areas by offering our guests more ways to experience glaciers, wildlife and wilderness than any other cruise line," said Beth Bodensteiner, chief commercial officer, Holland America Line. "As we open bookings for our 2025 season, we're offering an unmatched Alaska: Up Close experience and incentives to start planning now."

From April through October 2025, guests can embark on Holland America Line's cruises to Alaska aboard Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Westerdam and Zaandam. Departures are roundtrip from Seattle, Washington; roundtrip from Vancouver, Canada; or in either direction between Vancouver and Whittier, Alaska.

More Glaciers for Viewing and Visiting
Every Alaska cruise includes a scenic visit to one or more of Alaska's iconic glaciers where the ships sail up to the face of the ice formations and rotate for a 360-degree view. Holland America Line has more permits to visit Glacier Bay National Park than any cruise line, and the ships also visits several others along the journey: College Fjord, Dawes Glacier, Hubbard Glacier and Twin Sawyer Glaciers of Tracy Arm.

During Glacier Bay scenic cruising, Glacier Bay National Park Rangers visit Holland America Line ships for the day to engage with guests and talk about Alaska's most famous national park.

In addition to scenic glacier viewing from the ship, guests can get up close to glaciers on a shore excursion, including the Excursions by Catamaran: Hubbard Glacier & Enchanting Disenchantment Bay in Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm Inlet and Glacier Explorer to Sawyer Glacier, both boarded directly from the ship; Helicopter Glacier Trek in Juneau where guest land on a glacier or the Five Glaciers Seaplane tour over section of the 1,500-square-mile Juneau Ice Field; and the Wilderness, Wildlife and Glacier Experience in Anchorage.

Whales, Bears, Eagles and More.
With the most shore excursions featuring a wildlife and wilderness encounter, Holland America Line offers nearly 180 tours to see species of all kinds, including: whale watching in Juneau; Sea Otter Quest and Alaska Raptor Center and Fortress of the Bear in Sitka; Wilderness Zodiac Quest in Ketchikan to go in search of bears, eagles and seals; Spasski River Wildlife and Bear Search in Icy Strait Point; Glacier Point Wilderness Safari showcasing whales, sealions and seals, and Haines Eagle Preserve Float and Wildlife Quest to the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, both from Skagway.

Wildlife Experts Lead Spotting
A wildlife expert on board helps guests witness the majestic animals found in Alaska. Guests can be on the lookout for humpback whales, orcas, bald eagles, moose, sea otters, caribou, black and grizzly bears, Dall's porpoise and more. The daily program highlights designated times to meet the wildlife expert on deck to go in search of the animals in their natural environment.

Holland America Line's Wildlife Spotting Guide points out the native animals found along the cruise route and includes a map with the best places to see each species. Between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., wildlife sightings are announced for guest viewing.

All cruises on Westerdam roundtrip from Seattle feature a presentation by The Alaska Raptor Center at Sitka. Hosted by the wildlife expert, one of the center's Avian Care Specialists comes aboard with a raptor (eagle, hawk, owl, etc.) to share insights about Alaska's majestic birds in World Stage.

'Alaska Up Close' Immerses Guests in the Local Culture
Holland America Line's "Alaska Up Close" deeply immerses guests in the local culture with authentic onboard programming, cruise activities and award-winning shore excursions. The exclusive experiences are delivered through experts leading workshops and lectures from those who know Alaska best, EXC Talks exploring the stories of real Alaskans, tours highlighting the best of each destination and fine dining events showcasing the culinary traditions of the region.

On all Alaska cruises, a Huna Native Interpreter in historical dress comes on board during the evening stay at Juneau to introduce guests to the history of the Tlingit people with "Native Voices: Stories of the Tlingit People." On the culinary side, guests will find cocktails featuring real glacier ice, an Alaska-themed brunch, Gold Rush dinner, seafood boils, salmon bakes and themed stations in Lido Market.

Serving Only the Freshest Sustainable Seafood
In 2022, Holland America Line was awarded Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) certification — making it the first cruise line to achieve this distinguished credential by serving only fresh, certified sustainable and traceable wild Alaska seafood. On any Alaska cruise, the line serves more than 2,000 pounds of Alaska salmon, 1,000 pounds of Alaska cod, 800 pounds of Alaska halibut, 500 pounds of Alaska rockfish and more. All menus highlight "Taste Alaska" by calling out region-specific dishes and fresh fish.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 17.71 - 8.24%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 98.76 - 4.30%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 20.76 - 7.82%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Some of the inside cabins P&O's s/s Canberra had an interesting feature that made them brighter than inside cabins on most other cruise ships. What was the feature?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
What was the inspiration for the distinctive funnel paint job on the ships of Carnival Cruise Line?

Answer - Carnival used the new logo employed by CP Ships (formerly Canadian Pacific) slightly amended to form the letter "C". CP Ships sued Carnival for copyright infringement and won. The design was amended to its current form. courtesy of Richard MacGregory


Cruise News - July 10, 2023

Cunard Releases 1920s-style Queen Anne cutaway to Mark 183rd Birthday
Cunard unveiled a remarkable new cutaway image of its newest ship, Queen Anne, which pays homage to the luxury cruise line's uniquely rich heritage.

Released yesterday to celebrate its 183rd birthday, the intricate animation has been designed in the style of Cunard's iconic advertising posters from the 1920s, offering a playful glimpse inside the ship's interiors.

This magnificent cutaway encapsulates the essence of playful luxury that guests will experience onboard our newest ship

Artist Dominik Bulka was commissioned to create the masterpiece, painstakingly hand-sketching each element of the design, before electronically stitching the constituent scenes into a single digital image.

The cutaway illustrates many of Cunard's signature venues and public spaces, including the iconic Grand Lobby and Golden Lion pub, as well as brand new concepts for Queen Anne, such as the exhilarating new show bar inspired by historic, bold electric light installations – Bright Lights Society.

But eagle-eyed observers will also notice a number of weird and wonderful depictions that reflect Cunard folklore. For example, on deck one, you'll find two bellhops feeding a hippo in a swimming pool in a mischievous reference to a well-known transatlantic crossing.

In 1963, on board Pavia, there was a very special guest that required a cold shower every hour during the day. Three-year-old Jimmy was a hippopotamus making his way from Naples to Chester Zoo; in fact, he travelled on deck with an awning over his cage to protect him from the sun.

Elsewhere, famous faces have been woven into the cutaway – from past guests such as David Bowie and Nelson Mandela, to the man who founded the iconic luxury cruise line, Sir Samuel Cunard.

Cunard is world-renowned for sailing guests around the world in comfort, style, and luxury, and with this latest artistic endeavour, the luxury cruise line is taking inspiration from its past to define the next chapter of its future.

The image places an emphasis on the quirky and unexpected, with flying bellhops just one surreal representation of the immersive experiences that can be found onboard a Cunard ship. The illustration also details the major venues onboard, and where guests can find them.

A number of limited-edition cutaway posters will be created ahead of Queen Anne's maiden voyage on May 3, 2024.

"We are incredibly excited about the launch of Queen Anne and this magnificent cutaway image brilliantly encapsulates the essence of playful luxury that guests will experience onboard our newest ship," said Matt Gleaves, VP, Commercial, Cunard North America. "Cunard guests receive an exclusive experience sailing aboard our fantastic fleet of Queens and we are always keen to showcase the unique touches that make our voyages one-of-a-kind. Whether it be posting your mail in the middle of the Atlantic or marvelling at art etched by royalty, you are sure to create unforgettable moments with Cunard."

Seabourn's New Expedition Vessel Seabourn Pursuit Offers Extraordinary 'Home Away From Home' Feel
Seabourn wants guests to savor their home away from home enroute to new experiences aboard Seabourn Pursuit, the second of two purpose-built expedition vessels in its fleet. Set to launch Summer 2023, Seabourn Pursuit will welcome travelers with 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites. Available in an array of layouts and dimensions, all accommodations create the elevated ambiance that is a hallmark of every Seabourn travel experience.

For this new expedition vessel, iconic hospitality atelier Tihany Design - led by Founder Adam D. Tihany and Managing Partner Alessia Genova - fashioned sumptuous interiors to create a modern ambiance that combines incomparable comfort, relaxed elegance and sophisticated ruggedness. The color palettes, elemental materials and tactile textures resonate Seabourn's signature luxury and sense of ease, with custom design evident in every detail, right down to the retro style of light switches.

"Tihany Design's latest undertaking for Seabourn is among its most thoughtfully conceived and executed, creating an ultra-luxury atmosphere that pairs well with the expedition feel guests experience throughout Seabourn Pursuit," said Natalya Leahy, president of Seabourn. "Guests will certainly recognize their Seabourn 'home away from home' while being surrounded by elements that bring a spirit of adventure and discovery as they visit some of the most beautiful and remote locations of the world."

Suite Details and Design

Seabourn Pursuit houses 132 individual oceanfront suites in 12 categories, all with private ocean-view verandas. Accommodations feature a comfortable living area, queen-size bed or two twin beds, walk-in closet, interactive TV with music and movies, fully stocked bar and refrigerator, writing desk with personalized stationery, and makeup vanity. Spacious marble guest bathrooms have a full tub, separate shower, and luxury beauty products.

Each suite also has a built-in heated jacket wardrobe, where guests can hang their wet outdoor Complimentary PolarShield Parka and other gear to dry quickly once they return from adventures off the ship or warm their coats before heading out on a cool morning.

Additional in-suite amenities include a personal safe, plush robes, slippers, and hair dryer. Bedding is outfitted with a luxurious custom-built mattress, comfortable cotton linens, fluffy all-season duvet, and firm or soft pillows as per guest preference. The in-suite bar is replenished with a selection of beverages and complimentary wines and/or spirits as per guest requests; and guests can take advantage of the complimentary PressReader app for access to favorite newspapers and magazines via personal phone or tablet; and SWAROVSKI OPTIK binoculars to use to view natural beauty from afar.

The suites' exclusive custom furniture collection was developed by Tihany Design and produced by renowned Italian furniture manufacturer Roda, which combines authentic Italian craftsmanship with state-of-the-art technology and innovation. Framed in wood and metal and incorporating textured fabric and leather, the bespoke furnishings radiate luxurious handcrafted ruggedness for a distinctive identity, setting a new precedent for next-generation design in the expedition cruise market.

Natural curvilinear arch design elements and parchment-inspired wall panels are among the many details that reflect bygone maritime craftsmanship; digitally printed wall laminate material mimics wood with alluring granular detail; heated flooring with wooden-look tiles; and custom bedside panels feature toggle switches, an analog clock, and a fold-away reading lamp. To complement, carpeting displays organic shapes, Premium bedding and accoutrements foster supreme relaxation, with custom-designed blankets and finely textured throws on couches produced from the highest quality sustainably sourced material.

Suite Categories

Seabourn Pursuit's suite categories and specifications include:

• Veranda Suites – Veranda Suites are the most abundant accommodation on Seabourn Pursuit featuring luxuries for guests to make them their home away from home. Veranda suites include a separate seating area with a coffee/dining table for two, which is ideal for in-suite dining at any time of day. Each suite has an approximate total space of 355 sq. ft. (33 sq. m.), including a private furnished veranda of 78 sq. ft. (7 sq. m.). There are four categories of Veranda Suites available, and sizes vary by suite.

• Veranda Spa Suites – Located on Deck 7, Seabourn Pursuit's two Veranda Spa Suites are the same size and have the same layouts and amenities as Veranda Suites. They also include additional in-suite spa amenities and access to a spa concierge service.

• Panorama Veranda Suites – Available only on the expedition ships, the Panorama Veranda Suites feature a semi-circular living area with comfortable seating and include expansive floor-to-ceiling windows which provide guests a breathtaking perspective of the world outside. The bathroom features a separate shower and large soaking tub placed next to a window, providing relaxing views of the private, furnished veranda and scenic outdoor landscapes. The suites are located on Decks 5, 6, 7 and 8, and are 420 sq. ft. (39 sq. m.), including a private, furnished veranda of 86 sq. ft. (8 sq. m.), though suite sizes vary.

• Penthouse Suites – Located on Deck 8, each of Seabourn Pursuit's Penthouse Suites affords a sophisticated environment which includes a living area with a dining table for two to enjoy in-suite dining and large windows that bring in plenty of natural light. The Penthouse Suites are approximately 527 sq. ft. (49 sq. m.), including a furnished veranda of 97 sq. ft. (9 sq. m.).

• Penthouse Spa Suite – Perfect for travelers desiring the space of a penthouse and access to the onboard spa and wellness facilities, this suite features the same amenities as the Penthouse Suite along with added in-suite spa amenities. Located on Deck 7, this suite stretches 635 sq. ft. (59 sq. m.), including a private, furnished veranda of 205 sq. ft. (19 sq. m.).

• Grand Wintergarden Suites – Set on Decks 7 and 8, the Grand Wintergarden Suites are truly top of the line as they are two suites combined into one. The two-level suites are spacious perfection for guests and feature a comfortable living area, dining table for four, second bedroom, separate guest bath and pantry with a wet bar stocked with a customized selection of spirits.

A sculptured staircase leading to the upper level takes guests to the master bedroom positioned to face expansive windows, allowing guests to soak in the views. The upper level also features an expansive wall of closets, along with advanced technology including a roll-up LG OLED TV that tucks away to preserve the views of the world outside. Guests will find a separate walk-in closet adjacent to the five-piece bathroom complete with a whirlpool spa tub and separate shower. Wintergarden suite guests will also be able to enjoy wildlife and vista spotting using a Swarovski ATX Interior spotting scope.

These suites are 1,399 sq. ft. (130 sq. m.), including two furnished verandas totaling 205 sq. ft. (19 sq. m.).

• Wintergarden Suites include the same features as the Grand Wintergarden without the additional bedroom and full bathroom on the lower level. They are approximately 1,044 sq. ft. (97 sq. m.), including a private furnished veranda of 129 sq. ft. (12 sq. m.).

• Owner's Suites – Perched above the bow on Deck 7, the pair of Owner's Suites lavishes guests with a comfortable living area that includes high-definition TV, writing desk, and dining table for two. A glass door leads to a curved veranda with sun loungers and a table for four, making it an ideal place to share stories with fellow guests.

The separate bedroom features a queen-sized bed, a large window, makeup vanity, and a walk-in closet. The five-piece bathroom is designed with multiple doors that can create a half-bath, and also features a separate shower and bathtub.

The suites are 1,023 sq. ft. (95 sq. m.) of space, including a private veranda of 484 sq. ft. (45 sq. m.).

• Signature Suites – Set at the stern of Seabourn Pursuit, Signature Suites features a foyer entry opening to an inviting living area, dining table for four, guest bath, and pantry with wet bar, while a series of large windows wash the suite with natural light. The separate bedroom features a queen-sized bed, makeup vanity, generous closet space, and a glass door leading to a large, curved veranda that includes its own canopied whirlpool spa tub, sun loungers, sofa, and chairs. A five-piece bathroom with a separate shower and tub rounds out the suite.

The suites are approximately 1,377 sq. ft. (128 sq. m.) of space, including a 592 sq. ft. (55 sq. m.) furnished veranda.

MSC Meraviglia to Sail from New York to New England and Canada in 2024
MSC Cruises’ autumn schedule offers stunning itineraries off the east coast of North America and up to Canada, promising guests a truly unique cruise experience aboard MSC Meraviglia. Guests can embark on an unforgettable journey this September and October for 10- or 11-night cruises sailing from New York.

Renowned for incredible scenery during the fall, New England and Canada offer guests the perfect opportunity to witness the changing of the seasons as they visit a long list of picturesque ports. Whether it’s seeing world-famous historical sites, admiring the incredible landscapes and spectacular vibrant hues of autumn leaves, or savoring the famed cuisines of the East Coast, these unique itineraries have something for everyone.

While sailing the north Atlantic coast, guests can make the most of MSC Meraviglia’s array of exceptional amenities and varied onboard experiences, including the ship’s wide range of gourmet dining options, world-class entertainment, award-winning facilities for families and children of all ages, and luxurious spa and wellness, all while relaxing in comfortable accommodations designed for every season.

MSC Meraviglia is homeporting year-round in New York and will also offer select cruises to New England and Canada in 2024.

MSC Meravalgia fall itinerary highlights include:

TAKE A BITE OF THE BIG APPLE
MSC Meraviglia’s itinerary will set sail from New York City, offering guests the chance to visit the city that never sleeps and its endless unforgettable experiences. From viewing the iconic Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty, marveling at the dazzling Manhattan skyscrapers, getting lost in the city’s lively neighborhoods, and visiting world-class museums, to a relaxing stroll in Central Park to witness the majestic autumn foliage, this magnificent city is a top destination any time of year.

EXPERIENCE THE ELEGANCE & CHARM OF NEWPORT
Newport, situated on the southern coast of Rhode Island, is a charming waterfront town known for its stunning architecture, historic Gilded Age mansions and beautiful scenic coastal views. The city has a variety of attractions to explore, including the historic Cliff Walk with a walking trail along the beautiful rocky shoreline, the iconic Newport Mansions, and the historic Fort Adams State Park with gorgeous views of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay.

WALK THROUGH AMERICA’S HISTORY AT BOSTON’S HISTORICAL SITES
Explore Boston—a modern and dynamic city full of rich culture and history. The city’s cutting-edge architecture contrasts with Boston’s famous Freedom Trail, which is lined with historic landmarks including Boston Common, the oldest public park in the United States. Sports fans can visit historic Fenway Park, the oldest and most legendary stadium in Major League Baseball and home to the Red Sox.

EXPLORE NOVA SCOTIA’S NATURAL BEAUTY
Nova Scotia, Canada, is known for its charming fishing villages, beautiful beaches and captivating shorelines. Halifax, the seaside capital city of Nova Scotia, is renowned for its strong maritime heritage and provides a taste of Canada’s natural beauty. Guests can enjoy a stroll on one of world’s longest continuous waterfront boardwalks full of fantastic restaurants and a range of cultural attractions, visit the city’s impressive historical landmarks including its hilltop citadel dating back to the 18th century, or head to the small fishing village of Peggy's Cove, well-known for its picturesque red and white lighthouse, one of the most iconic and popular spots in Nova Scotia.

VISIT THE GREAT OUTDOORS OF NEW BRUNSWICK
New Brunswick, Canada’s beautiful maritime province, is a must-visit for outdoor adventures with its striking coastline, lush forests and wildlife including moose, whales and seals. Guests can explore the charming and historic port city of Saint John, located in the Bay of Fundy and home to beautiful historic streets, the nature trails of Rockwood Park and spectacular sea views.

DISCOVER THE BEST OF PORTLAND’S CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS
Portland, Maine offers a wealth of cultural attractions and beautiful views of the Atlantic coast. Travelers can explore the city’s enchanting lighthouses, historical architecture, and varied outdoor activities while enjoying some of the freshest seafood in the country. The city’s top attractions include the Old Port District, where guests can take a leisurely walk through cobblestone streets full of historic buildings. Art lovers can’t miss the Portland Museum of Art’s impressive collection, which features works from local and world-famous artists alike. The local beer and world-famous Maine lobster make for an unforgettable lunch.

Azamara Returns to Canada and Debuts Double Night Stays with 2025 Itineraries
Azamara has released 73 itineraries for 2025, including two brand-new voyages visiting Canada for the first time since 2017. Along with these itineraries comes the debut of double night stays, giving guests two overnights to explore one destination at their leisure.

"Azamara is known for offering more time in port with late nights and overnights, and now we are taking that even further with our new double night stays, allowing our guests plenty of time to travel further and dive deeper into each destination," said Carol Cabezas, President of Azamara.

With Azamara's new double night stays, guests can spend three days and two nights in Bordeaux, France. Due to their small size, Azamara's ships can dock in the center of the city, allowing guests to explore the stunning architecture and renowned museums, as well as the world-famous surrounding wine region. Azamara guests can also sail seven hours down the Guadalquivir River to enjoy an extended stay in the heart of Seville, Spain, where they can fully immerse themselves in the local culture and traditions of Andalusia by indulging in tapas, watching authentic flamenco dancers and bullfighters, and admiring historic palaces – all at their own pace.

"We are thrilled to return to Canada in 2025, and we're excited for our guests to experience these unique itineraries visiting lesser traveled ports in Quebec and Newfoundland as well as Iceland and Greenland," said Michael Pawlus, Head of Itinerary Planning at Azamara. "As demand for our Country Intensive sailings remains strong, we've also added a range of these specialty voyages across Europe for 2025, so our guests can discover smaller ports and hidden gems within a single country."

Marking the cruise line's return to the country for the first time in more than five years, Azamara's new sailings will stop in six Canadian ports, including:

• Cap-aux-Meules, Quebec (maiden port): Known as the center of the Magdalen Islands, this small fishing town boasts incredibly fresh seafood, stunning coastal trails, and over 300 species of birds. L'Anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland (maiden port): L'Anse Aux Meadows is the only authenticated Viking site in North America. Guests will be transported back 1,000 years as they explore the recreated Viking

• Encampment and discover original Norse artifacts.

• Harve Saint Pierre, Quebec (maiden port): With panoramic views and never-ending sandy beaches, Saint Pierre sits on the north shore of Quebec's Saint Lawrence River and is the gateway to the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, home to an abundance of wildlife.

Azamara's signature Country Intensive sailings continue to see high demand, making up more than half of the newly released 2025 itineraries. These specialty voyages encourage guests to dive deeper into countries such as Italy, Spain, France, Norway, Ireland, and Scotland by providing more time to discover the local culture and hidden gems. Two of the fleet's four ships will visit Greece in 2025, a destination

Azamara knows best as its ships visit more unique ports throughout the country than any other cruise line.

Azamara's 2025 itineraries include a record number of 15 golf cruises in collaboration with longtime partner PerryGolf. Golf lovers will want to book the 2025 British Isles Golf Cruise, which includes weekend attendance to the final two rounds of The 153rd Open at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

P&O Cruises and Time Out Launch Exclusive New Lisbon Shore Experience
P&O Cruises has today announced a new shore experience created in partnership with and curated by the city experts at Time Out, the global media and hospitality brand which inspires and enables people to experience the best of the city.

On selected holidays, ‘The Flavours of Lisbon by Time Out and P&O Cruises’ will offer guests a taste of local food with a hands-on cooking class in the world-famous Time Out Market and an opportunity to discover the Baixa district’s colourful Pink Street.

The experience will begin with a walking tour through Baixa at the heart of Lisbon with its stunning architecture, famous yellow trams and Pink Street, one of Lisbon's most photo-worthy locations.

Together with local chef Miguel Mesquita, guests will then visit Time Out Market which shares the building with a centuries-old traditional food market to discover its history while shopping for all the ingredients needed for a cooking class.

At the Time Out Academy – which is Time Out Market Lisbon's cooking school – guests will then learn to prepare authentic local dishes before sitting down to enjoy the food. The cooking class is led by Miguel who is the Executive Chef of the Time Out Academy and a participant of MasterChef Portugal, winner of “Guerra dos Pratos” and has gained experience in Michelin star restaurants.

NCL Announces Starbucks “been There” Mugs Aboard Its Ships With the Debut of Norwegian Viva
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) revealed its new series of Starbucks? “Been There” mugs, set to debut and be exclusively available aboard nine NCL ships, beginning with the launch of the groundbreaking Norwegian Viva in August 2023.

The collectible limited-edition mugs will be exclusively sold at the Starbucks Cafes aboard Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Joy, Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Prima, and the soon-to-debut Norwegian Viva, the second ship of NCL’s elevated Prima Class.

Each mug’s design showcases unique elements of the respective NCL ship, including Norwegian Bliss’ magnificent whale tail hull art designed by famed ocean conservationist Wyland, the exhilarating dueling slides aboard Norwegian Prima, and the towering zipline at Great Stirrup Cay, NCL’s private island in the Bahamas. With this one-of-a-kind memento, guests are able to capture the essence of their time on board by bringing a piece of their experience back home.

Norwegian Cruise Line was the first in the industry to offer the Starbucks experience across all ships. Through the extended partnership, licensed stores and “We Proudly Serve” cafes are available across all 18 of the Company’s ships. Starbucks handcrafted espresso beverages are also available at all cafes, main dining room and specialty restaurants, with select ships offering self-pour coffee stations.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 19.30 + 1.79%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 103.20 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 22.52 + 2.78%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the inspiration for the distinctive funnel paint job on the ships of Carnival Cruise Line?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
This week we have another visual Cruise Trivia Question. The picture below was featured in a cruise brochure from the 1960's. Name the ship.

Answer - The picture in this week's trivia contest is the SS Rotterdam (Rotterdam V) just outside the Sky Room on the open deck at the top of the ship. courtesy of Bill Forsstrom, Cincinnati,OH


Cruise News - July 3, 2023

Luis Fonsi Named Godfather of Norwegian Cruise Line's Newest Ship, Norwegian Viva
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced today that GRAMMY nominated, and five-time Latin GRAMMY winning singer, songwriter, musician and producer, Luis Fonsi, will serve as the godfather of its newest ship, Norwegian Viva, the second ship of the Brand’s groundbreaking Prima Class. The ship will be christened in Miami before homeporting in San Juan, Puerto Rico this fall.

Best known for his extensive list of radio hits including the award-winning, global chart-topping hit, “Despacito,” which was featured on Billboard’s “Hot Latin Song” list for a record-breaking 56 consecutive weeks, Puerto Rican-born Fonsi will fulfill the longstanding maritime tradition of blessing and officially naming Norwegian Viva at the Nov. 28, 2023 christening ceremony in Miami, the “Cruise Capital of the World.” The “Live it Up!” theme of Norwegian Viva will continue throughout the evening, with a lineup of leading Latin entertainers joining Fonsi, including The Queen of Latin Pop, Paulina Rubio; "Saturday Night Live” cast member and Miami-native, Marcello Hernandez; and singer, Pedro Capó, all of which will deliver exclusive performances throughout the night.

"We are thrilled to welcome Latin music icon Luis Fonsi to the NCL family as Godfather of Norwegian Viva and to join us as we christen our newest ship," said David J. Herrera, President of Norwegian Cruise Line. "Miami, our hometown, is immersed in Latin culture, and we want to celebrate Norwegian Viva’s debut with an infusion of Latin talent headlined by Luis. As a native Puerto Rican, who is also based in Miami, he brings people together from around the world with his energy, positivity and music, making him the perfect complement to the vibrant energy of Norwegian Viva. We cannot wait for him to join us as we celebrate this milestone moment later this year.”

On Nov. 28, 2023, Luis Fonsi will officiate the ceremonial breaking of a champagne bottle on the ship’s bow to bid the vessel and its travelers good fortune on their voyage, a fundamental nautical tradition customary for any ship launch. After completing its christening voyage, Norwegian Viva will be the newest ship to homeport in San Juan, Puerto Rico upon arrival on Dec. 15, 2023. It will offer a variety of seven-day Caribbean voyages through April 2024 with calls to Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St John’s, Antigua; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; Philipsburg, St. Maarten and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, before returning for a summer season of cruises to Europe from Athens (Piraeus), Greece; Lisbon, Portugal; and Rome (Civitavecchia) and Venice (Trieste), Italy.

“I am so honored to be named Godfather of NCL’s newest ship, Norwegian Viva, and look forward to sharing her with the amazing people of Puerto Rico, a community that truly represents the spirit of ‘live it up’” said Luis Fonsi, award-winning global artist. “Growing up on an island, the ocean plays such an important part in my life, and there is nowhere else I’d rather be. Cruising provides such an incredible vacation experience, and I cannot wait to christen this incredible ship and to introduce her to the world.”

Norwegian Viva is the second of six vessels in the company’s groundbreaking Prima Class and sister ship to the award-winning Norwegian Prima. The elevated offerings of the Prima Class prioritize the guest experience and raise the bar on cruising through world-class cuisine, the brand’s most spacious design yet, and stellar onboard activities including the Viva Speedway—the three-level racetrack. Norwegian Viva features many of the outstanding onboard experiences that makes the Prima Class in a league of its own including Indulge Food Hall, the upscale food market exhibiting 11 unique eateries; the fastest slides at sea, The Drop and Rush; and NCL’s industry-exclusive sustainable cocktail bar, the Metropolitan Bar. Debuting in August 2023, Norwegian Viva will sail a selection of bucket-list-worthy Greek Isles and Mediterranean voyages through November, before homeporting in San Juan, Puerto Rico in December 2023 for a season of Caribbean itineraries.

Celebrity Cruises Introduces New Caribbean Program
Celebrity Cruisesannounced this week a revamped Caribbean program for the Summer 2024 season. Starting next April, sun chasers, beach lovers and relaxation seekers, will all be able to enjoy the Caribbean like never before on board two award-winning ships, Celebrity BeyondSM and Celebrity Reflection, as they begin to call the tropics home. Not only does the new program double the brand's number of year-round Caribbean sailings and introduces the first weekend itineraries, but both ships will now offer guests with the exciting opportunity to experience Perfect Day at CocoCay for the first time in history.

"Our customers are consistently asking for more opportunities to visit this stunning region year-round, have more weekend options so they can getaway easier, and have expressed a desire for a private island destination. By introducing this new program, we can meet this demand and offer something new and historic to all our guests," says Laura Hodges Bethge, President of Celebrity Cruises. "Perfect Day is a destination like no other, and we are honored to add it to our portfolio."

Perfect Day at CocoCay:

Located in the Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay is a vibrant island paradise and one of the Caribbean's most exclusive destinations. Offering the best of beach-side bliss and sun-soaked excitement, guests can find peak relaxation or the ultimate thrill – whatever their speed and definition of the perfect day means. Travelers can enjoy miles of pristine white sand beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters, take a dip in the largest freshwater pool in The Bahamas, swim up to the bar for a refreshing tropical cocktail, experience the ultimate in relaxation and privacy at Coco Beach Club that features a heated infinity pool, specialty restaurant, and 20 exclusive overwater cabanas. Hideaway Beach, a new offering debuting in January, will offer an adults only paradise, with private cabanas and a new signature food outlet. If you are eager to get the adrenaline flowing on North America's tallest waterslide, or soar 450 feet above the island in Up, Up and Away — an epic balloon ride that provides breathtaking panoramic views— Perfect Day has something for everyone.

Experience the newest Edge Series ship year-round:

Sailing out of South Florida, Celebrity Beyond, will offer a mix of six and eight-night journeys, which visit incredible destinations like Grand Cayman, The Bahamas, Mexico, and the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, along with Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Launched in April 2022 in Europe and in November 2022 in North America, Celebrity Beyond is the newest member of the brand's revolutionary and modern Edge Series that reimagined what cruising could be. Signature offerings of the series include more than 30 food and beverage options, an outward-facing design that maximizes outdoor spaces and panoramic ocean views, world-class production shows, and sleek staterooms that range from Infinite Verandas which open with the push of a button to welcome the outdoor in, to the wellbeing-focused AquaClass, and the ultimate in luxury with the first-ever two-story suites known as the Edge Villas.

Get away to the Caribbean on any weekend of the year: For the first time, travelers will have the opportunity to getaway every weekend on Celebrity Reflection's new three and four-night itineraries. From Friday to Monday, travelers will have the opportunity to break free from their routines and recharge in the Caribbean. Nearly 40 itineraries will offer the chance to enjoy Perfect Day, while also taking guests to the picturesque streets of Key West, and the white sand beaches of Bimini. These two destinations are renowned for their laidback lifestyle, allowing only one ship per day.

Carnival Cruise Line Hosts Grand Bahama Celebration
Carnival Cruise Line, in partnership with the Ministry of Grand Bahama, hosted a Golden Jubilee Breakfast today to celebrate the 50th Independence of The Bahamas. Approximately 100 community members attended the event which took place aboard Carnival Legend that is docked in Freeport and honored present and former parliamentarians of Grand Bahama.

“Carnival offers our heartfelt congratulations to The Bahamas on this milestone anniversary and we are proud to have been operating in the country for the last 50 plus years,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “We could not think of a better way to celebrate than with the Ministry of Grand Bahama as we work together to bring Carnival’s cruise port destination to life, which will bring millions of visitors to experience the beauty and culture of Grand Bahama.”

Among distinguished leaders present at the celebration were the Prime Minister of The Bahamas Hon. Philip Davis and the Minister for Grand Bahama Hon. Ginger Moxey. Thirty-five Grand Bahama parliamentarians were also presented with awards to recognize their service.

“As we reflect on the 50th anniversary of our independence, I am so excited about the road ahead for Grand Bahama,” said Minister Moxey. “Working with partners like Carnival, we are rebuilding our economy and bringing new opportunities to our residents. We say a big thank you to Carnival for continuing to be a part of this community, holding this anniversary celebration here in Grand Bahama and bringing a new cruise port to our island.”

The Golden Jubilee Breakfast took place as work continues to advance on the Carnival Grand Bahama cruise port destination. Representing an investment of $200 million, the port destination will offer guests a uniquely Bahamian experience with exciting features and amenities, including a one-mile stretch of white-sand beach, a nature reserve and an interior pool feature, as well as Bahamian-operated retail, food and beverage options for Carnival guests to enjoy.

Royal Caribbean Opens 2024-25 Vacations From Shanghai, Marking Return to China
Vacationers setting their sights on exploring the Far East can seize the day today. Families and friends can now book 4- and 7-night vacations on Royal Caribbean International’s Spectrum of the Seas and be one of the first to cruise to international destinations on Asia’s largest and most innovative ship in 2024-2025. The cruise line’s highly anticipated return to China is set for April 2024, when Spectrum sails from Shanghai to popular getaway destinations like Fukuoka, Okinawa, Nagasaki and Osaka, Japan. The all-new vacations are open for bookings on the cruise line’s website.

"Chinese vacationers have been eagerly awaiting to wander and make memories throughout Asia again, and we are delighted to make that possible as the first international cruise line to open for bookings and cruise in China. And what better way to mark Royal Caribbean’s homecoming than with the return of Spectrum of the Seas, a ship that was specifically designed for Asia,” said Dr. Zinan Liu, senior vice president and chairman, Asia, Royal Caribbean Group. “Today, we can proudly proclaim, 'We are back in China!'’

Specially designed for Asia and travelers of all ages, Spectrum features a lineup of restaurants and entertainment with regionally inspired menus and shows, like Hot Pot, Teppanyaki and Sichuan Red, as well as karaoke lounge Star Moment, Showgirls in the Royal Theater and Silk Road in the one-of-a-kind Two70, where artistry, robots and technology combine to create jaw-dropping performances. Alongside the familiar comforts are adventures only on Royal Caribbean, including skydiving on the RipCord by iFly, scaling more than 300 feet above the ocean on North Star, the all-glass observation capsule, and bumper cars and sports in the largest indoor activity space at sea, SeaPlex.

And when it comes to luxury, the ship’s exclusive suite enclave has it covered. The luxe experiences include everything from a two-level, 2,809-square-foot Ultimate Family Suite that features an in-suite slide and accommodates up to 11 for the ultimate multigenerational family vacation, to private dining, shopping and more.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 18.96 + 29.86%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 103.20 + 6.13%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 21.91 + 18.24%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
This week we have another visual Cruise Trivia Question. The picture below was featured in a cruise brochure from the 1960's. Name the ship.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Before selecting the former France for conversion into the cruise ship Norway, NCL examined three other 900 ft + former liners. Name at least two of the three former liners they did not select

Answer - The 3 ships looked at by NCL were: 1-Michelangelo, 2-Raffaello, 3-United States. All 3 were unacceptable to NCL due to increased crew costs as a result of of each ship having split engine rooms and thus requiring twice as many engine room staff. courtesy of Chris Vincent


Cruise News - June 26, 2023

Oceania Cruises Introduces New Value Promise Program
Oceania Cruises will offer its guests simply MORE than ever before, with free roundtrip airfare, free airport transfers, free shore excursions and a free beverage package for all guests, for all new reservations beginning July 1, 2023, for sailings departing October 1, 2023, or later. Created to elevate the guest experience, the newly unveiled value promise has been designed to create long-lasting memories in enticing destinations and provide access to exquisite indulgences.

The brand's new simply MORE value promise means travelers receive the greatest value in luxury cruising, with virtually everything they desire included in their voyage fare: a hassle-free arrival and departure with free roundtrip airfare and free airport transfers; more unforgettable travel experiences with a generous shore excursion credit of up to $1,600 per stateroom to be spent on tours of their choice; and more occasions to celebrate with a comprehensive beverage package available during lunch and dinner featuring dozens of vintage Champagnes, premium wines and international beers to choose from.

The extraordinary new level of inclusions sits alongside the line's always included amenities: gourmet dining featuring The Finest Cuisine at Sea with no reservation fee or cover charge at specialty restaurants; fine teas and coffees, soft drinks and still and sparkling Vero Water; 24-hour room service; unlimited WiFi; and fitness classes.

"Thanks to the launch of simply MORE, our guests will enjoy even more value, more choice and more convenience than ever before," said Frank A. Del Rio, President of Oceania Cruises. "Over the past 20 years, we have continued to adapt and evolve to the wants and needs of our valued trade partners and guests. We are always seeking to enhance the Oceania Cruises experience and raise the bar in offering the best value in luxury cruising. So, we asked our key audiences, guests and travel partners, what they wanted, and that was simplicity, choice and value. Through our new simply MORE value promise, they now have all three.

"For me, the cornerstone of this exciting new value promise is the generous credit offered to every guest to be spent on shore excursions of their choice. Oceania Cruises is renowned for our imaginative and immersive itineraries, journeying to every part of the globe, which are enhanced even further by our industry-leading array of enriching adventures ashore."

Oceania Cruises offers more than 8,000 immersive, educational and unique tour choices in its 600-plus ports of call. Travelers can choose to explore iconic bustling cities, lesser-known gems and tranquil islands in the same sailing thanks to the line's destination-intensive itineraries.

Del Rio continued: "The simply MORE shore excursion credit can be applied to any and all of our tours, from witnessing an active volcano from a helicopter in Montserrat and learning how to tend and herd sheep at a shepherd school in Northern Spain on one of our Go Local tours to enjoying an insider's view of iconic modernistic buildings in the Finnish capital of Helsinki on a Beyond Blueprints excursion, which takes travelers behind the scenes of landmark buildings with an architectural guide."

Shore excursion credit amounts vary by voyage length, from $600 per stateroom for an itinerary of seven to nine days, to $1,600 per stateroom on sailings of 31 to 35 days. The credit may be redeemed against all excursions, offering unparalleled destination experiences including Food & Wine Trails Tours and Culinary Discovery Tours crafted for culinary connoisseurs, sustainability-focused Go Green Tours as well as luxurious excursions with a private car and driver, to name a few.

The new simply MORE value promise, which replaces OLife Choice, includes a generous beverage package featuring free premium-label Champagnes and wines, and more than 20 American and international beers, during lunch and dinner.

"Our guests appreciate fine food and fine wine, and we have always included all gourmet specialty dining. Now we are thrilled to be able to offer them a generous array of wines – not just house pours – to choose from, plus Champagnes and beers to enjoy too. With over three dozen wine choices on offer, and a broad range of beers as well as premium-label sparkling wines and Champagnes, there is something to suit every palate," said Del Rio.

Carnival Corporation Reports Second Quarter 2023 Earnings
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK) reports second quarter 2023 earnings and sets sights on 2026 SEA Change Program.

Carnival Corporation & plc's Chief Executive Officer Josh Weinstein commented, "We reached a meaningful inflection point for revenue this quarter, with net yields surpassing 2019's strong levels, and we achieved positive operating income, cash from operations and adjusted free cash flow."

Weinstein continued, "We are already executing on our strategy to grow revenue by taking up ticket prices, even while maintaining record onboard spending levels, building occupancy and growing capacity."

Weinstein added, "Based on continued strength in pricing, we delivered outperformance in the second quarter and raised our expectation for revenue in the second half, which coupled with the interest expense benefit we are capturing from deleveraging will bring another $275 million dollars to the bottom line for the year."

Weinstein noted, "With bookings and customer deposits hitting all-time highs, we are clearly gaining momentum on an upward trajectory. We are focused on the durable revenue growth and margin improvement that will deliver on our SEA Change Program and propel us on the path to delevering and investment grade leverage metrics."

Second Quarter 2023 Results and Statistical Information

• Operating income for the second quarter of 2023 was $120 million, turning positive for the first time since the resumption of guest cruise operations and marking a significant milestone.

• Adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter of 2023 was $681 million, at the high end of the March guidance range of $600 million to $700 million.

• Record second quarter revenue of $4.9 billion.

• While gross margin yields were down compared to 2019, Carnival said that it achieved a significant milestone of net yields in constant currency surpassing 2019 levels, above March guidance by 3.2% in constant currency (see "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below).

• Cruise costs per available lower berth day ("ALBD") increased 8.3% as compared to the second quarter of 2019.

• In constant currency, adjusted cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD (see "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below) increased 13.5% compared to the second quarter of 2019 and were above the high end of March guidance primarily due to the timing of expenses between the quarters. Costs were higher as compared to 2019 as a result of higher dry-dock related expenses, higher advertising investments to drive revenue for 2023 and beyond, incentive compensation increases reflecting expected improvements in the company's current and long-term performance, as well as partially mitigating the impacts of a high inflation environment.

• Total customer deposits reached an all-time high of $7.2 billion (as of May 31, 2023), surpassing the previous record of $6.0 billion (as of May 31, 2019) by over $1 billion, driven by strong demand, bundled package offerings and pre-cruise sales, and a 26% increase compared to the prior quarter.

Bookings

Carnival said that it saw continued acceleration of demand, with total bookings made during the quarter reaching a new all-time high for all future sailings. Booking volumes for the second quarter exceeded the first quarter's booking volumes, which was the previous record high.

Weinstein noted, "Our momentous wave period, typically a first quarter event, started in record breaking fashion at the end of the fourth quarter, set a record in the first quarter, actually accelerated in the second quarter and has continued into the third quarter. Booking volumes have been tremendous and we are gaining momentum with favorable pricing trends, which reflects improved commercial execution and returns on our advertising investments. The booking lead times for our North America and Australia ("NAA") segment are now further out than we have ever seen, while lead times for our Europe segment continue to lengthen and are now within 10 percent of 2019 levels, which is an improvement of 10 points from the last quarter. In fact, our European brands' bookings taken this past quarter for second half 2023 sailings for European deployments achieved double digit percentage increases in both volume and price compared to 2019. Clearly the strength of our portfolio of world class brands is now shifting into high gear."

Carnival said that it's cumulative advanced booked position for the remainder of 2023 is at higher ticket prices in constant currency, despite headwinds from the loss of St. Petersburg as a marquee destination due to the suspension of cruises to Russia (normalized for future cruise credits), as compared to strong 2019 pricing and a booked occupancy position that is near the high end of the historical range. (Carnival said that it 's current booking trends are compared to booking trends for 2019 as it is the most recent full year of guest cruise operations.)

Aligned with the company's yield management strategy, and while still early, the cumulative advanced booked position for full year 2024 is above the high end of the historical range at strong prices.

2023 Outlook

For the full year 2023, Carnival said that it expects:

• Adjusted EBITDA of $4.10 billion to $4.25 billion, above March guidance's range and with a midpoint increase of $175 million

• Includes approximately $0.5 billion unfavorable impact from fuel price and currency compared to 2019

• Continued sequential improvement in each quarter in adjusted EBITDA per ALBD as compared to 2019, driven by maintaining net per diems above 2019 levels while closing the gap in occupancy to 2019 levels (see "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below)

• Occupancy of 100% or higher

• Net per diems of 5.5% to 6.5% (in constant currency) two and a half points higher than March guidance, based on the acceleration of its strong demand profile

• Adjusted cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD (in constant currency) one and a half points higher than March guidance, due to a slower expected ramp down in inflationary pressures than previously estimated, incentive compensation increases reflecting expected improvements in the company's current and long-term performance and continued increases in advertising investments

For the third quarter of 2023, Carnival said that it expects:

• Adjusted EBITDA of $2.05 billion to $2.15 billion, a significant improvement compared to the second quarter of 2023 and adjusted net income of $0.95 billion to $1.05 billion

• Occupancy of 107% or higher

Carnival said that it expects net yields compared to 2019 (in constant currency) to be positive for the second half of the year, despite the headwinds from the loss of St. Petersburg as a marquee destination due to the suspension of cruises to Russia.

SEA Change Program

Carnival Corporation & plc is introducing its SEA Change Program, a set of key performance targets designed to reflect the achievement of important strategic goals over a three-year period ending in 2026, including:

• Sustainability - More than 20% reduction in carbon intensity compared to 2019, improving upon the company's industry leading fuel-efficiency and pulling forward its stated 2030 carbon intensity reduction goal by several years

• EBITDA - 50% increase in adjusted EBITDA per ALBD compared to 2023 June guidance, representing the highest level in almost two decades

• Adjusted ROIC - 12% adjusted Return on Invested Capital ("ROIC"), more than doubling adjusted ROIC from 2023 to 2026, and representing the highest level in almost two decades. Adjusted ROIC excludes goodwill and intangibles to compare against historical performance (see "Non-GAAP Financial Measures" below)

By the end of 2026, Carnival said that it is expecting to approach investment grade leverage metrics.

Carnival said that it's targets are built on measured net capacity growth of less than 2.5% compounded annually from 2023. To achieve these three-year targets, the company will continue with its focus across the portfolio on a range of initiatives to drive net yield growth while maintaining its industry leading cost base and fuel efficiency to continue to improve margins and grow adjusted free cash flow, which Carnival said that it believes will enable further debt reduction over time.

Weinstein noted, "These financial targets are anchored on optimizing capital allocation through measured capacity growth and will set our course back to strong profitability and investment grade leverage metrics. We are gaining momentum with continued strength in demand. We are excited about all the opportunities ahead and the potential to create outsized value for our shareholders as we work towards our 2026 targets."

Holland America Line Introduces New 'National Geographic Day Tours' to Mediterranean Cruises
Expanding its reputation for immersive travel experiences, Holland America Line has started operating "National Geographic Day Tours" that allow guests to connect more deeply, and in a more sustainable way, with destinations in the Mediterranean. The exclusive shore excursions were developed with National Geographic, a world leader in geography, cartography and exploration.

"We are continually looking for enriching and transformative experiences for our guests..."

Beginning this summer, guests sailing on Oosterdam and Nieuw Statendam can participate in National Geographic Day Tours that allow them to discover powerful female figures in Kusadasi, Turkey; experience a day in the life of a marine biologist in Naples, Italy; learn about organic honeybee farms in Rhodes, Greece; and meet local families in Santorini, Greece. Each tour is led by a National Geographic trained guide.

"We are continually looking for enriching and transformative experiences for our guests and the new National Geographic Day Tours are not only immersive, but provide exclusive access and hands-on experiences," said Carole Biencourt, vice president overseeing shore tour experience for Holland America Line. "We are pleased to offer them to guests across our Mediterranean itineraries that visit these ports and will look to expand the program in the near future."

Guests on select sailings in the Mediterranean can now book National Geographic tours online or through a travel advisor.

National Geographic Tours

• "A Day in the Life of a Marine Biologist" in Naples, Italy
Visit the oldest aquarium in Europe along with the Darwin Dohrn Museum (DoDaM), the world's first marine biodiversity research laboratory, where more than 20 Nobel Laureates studied and work on marine biology conservation projects in Naples, and learn about preserving marine turtles and the grey sharks of Lampione Island.

• "Meet the Locals in Santorini" in Santorini, Greece
Spend a day in the homes of two Santorini families and hear their stories of life on the island while tasting regional wine, cheese, vegetables and more. See the iconic, blue-domed church Panagia Kalamiotissa and visit Santo Winery to taste and pair Santorini's unique wine while enjoying panoramic views of the caldera.

• "Influential Women in Turkey: From Past to Present" in Kusadasi, Turkey
Explore powerful female figures who have influenced the local Turkish society through the ages, from ancient civilizations to modern times with visits to the Temple Artemis and House of the Virgin Mary on the hill above Ephesus. Finish the tour with a culinary journey guided by a local chef during an exclusive pairing menu at Yedi Bilgeler, a winery that has cultivated 2000-year-old vines.

• "The Fascinating World of Bees" in Rhodes, Greece
Discover why honeybees are among the most important living organisms on the planet. Uncover eye-opening ecological facts, sample local honey varieties, and try your hand at honey extraction at the Bee Museum of Rhodes.

The new National Geographic Day Tours are available on seven-day to 14-day itineraries departing from Trieste (Venice), Italy; Piraeus (Athens), Greece and Barcelona, Spain with stops in Rhodes, Kusadasi (Ephesus), Santorini and Naples.

Princess Cruises Unveils New Princess Perfect Weddings at Sea
Twenty-five years after hosting the first modern wedding at sea, Princess Cruises today unveiled an exciting new line-up of wedding packages and announced TV host and bridal designer Randy Fenoli as Brand Ambassador for Love and Romance, a role which includes hosting a bridal fashion themed cruise in December 2023 and developing a signature wedding package exclusive to The Love Boat.

New Princess Perfect Weddings create unforgettable moments by offering packages tailored for couples seeking unique and romantic ways to say "I do," including grand ceremonies in The Love Boat's picturesque piazza as well as outside deck areas that offer breathtaking venues with stunning ocean views, providing a perfect backdrop for a romantic ceremony, at a price significantly lower compared to land-based venues.

"Twenty-five years ago, Princess set the standard for weddings at sea, and with the help of Randy Fenoli, the most trusted source in the bridal industry, we're doing it again with our new Princess Perfect Weddings packages, evolving our offerings to create unparalleled experiences for couples and their loved ones, all at tremendous value," said John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises. "These new packages let couples combine their dream wedding with an unforgettable voyage to picturesque destinations, to celebrate their special day in the most extraordinary ways imaginable."

Princess Perfect Weddings offer couples a range of options, ensuring that every proposal, wedding ceremony and vow renewal vision can be realized, from intimate gatherings to grand celebrations. The first phase of new packages features at-sea options, with more packages, including a signature Randy Fenoli Weddings package, as well as Weddings Ashore, to be announced later this year.

Princess Cruises also announced that Fenoli will host a bridal fashion themed cruise aboard a seven-day Western Caribbean voyage on Regal Princess embarking in Galveston on December 3. The Randy Fenoli Bridal Fashion Themed Cruise at Sea will offer meet and greets, signature events, and even wedding gown consultations with the celebrity bridal designer.

"Being named Love and Romance Ambassador for Princess Cruises is an incredible honor, and I'm beyond excited to explore new ways to weave enchanting moments of romance that reinforce and expand The Love Boat legacy," said Fenoli. "Our December Themed Cruise is going to be a celebration of all things bridal, and no matter their shape, their budget or type of wedding, we're going to help match all of our brides-to-be with the perfect dress."

With all Princess Perfect Weddings performed at sea, ship captains serve as the ceremony officiant and all packages include a dedicated wedding specialist who works closely with couples pre-cruise and on board to tailor their wedding package according to their unique vision and requirements. From selecting the perfect venue to arranging decorations, flowers, and photography, every detail is handled to ensure a seamless and unforgettable event.

Princess Perfect Weddings packages include*:

Perfect Pair Wedding (includes the couple and up to 2 guests)
Symbolic Wedding $2,995 / Legal Wedding, includes marriage license $3,495

Package Highlights:

• Indoor or outdoor ceremony by the ship's captain

• Fresh florals, wedding cake and sparkling wine toast

• Dedicated photographer service and memorable prints

• Romantic breakfast for the couple

• Stateroom gifts and goodies

• Pre-cruise and onboard wedding coordinator

• Keepsake certificate

Timeless Ceremony at Sea (includes the couple and up to 8 guests)
Symbolic Wedding $3,995 / Legal Wedding, includes marriage license $4,495

Package Highlights: P>• Indoor or outdoor ceremony by the ship's captain P>• Fresh florals, wedding cake and sparkling wine toast P>• Solo live musician during the ceremony P>• Dedicated photographer service P>• Memorable prints and digital high-res photos P>• Romantic breakfast for the couple P>• Stateroom gifts and goodies P>• Pre-cruise and onboard wedding coordinator P>• Keepsake certificate

Timeless Wedding at Sea, (includes the couple and up to 18 guests)
Symbolic Wedding $5,995 / Legal Wedding, includes marriage license $6,495

Package Highlights: P>• Indoor or outdoor ceremony by the ship's captain P>• Fresh florals for the couple and the wedding party P>• Wedding cake and sparkling wine toast P>• Bridal hair styling & makeup P>• Solo live musician during the ceremony and reception P>• Dedicated venue to celebrate after ceremony P>• Signature welcome cocktails curated by the couple P>• Dedicated photographer service P>• Memorable prints and all digital high-res photos P>• Romantic breakfast for the couple P>• Premium dining experience for the couple P>• Stateroom gifts and goodies P>• Pre-cruise and onboard wedding coordinator P>• Keepsake certificate

The Love Boat line has also added packages for Princess Proposals at Sea and Vow Renewal Celebrations that include a dedicated event specialist who works closely with couples pre-cruise and on board to tailor their special event.

Renew the Love – Vow Renewal $1,595

Package highlights: P>• Short, sweet indoor or outdoor ceremony by the ship's captain P>• Fresh florals, celebration cake and sparkling wine toast for the couple P>• Dedicated photographer and memorable prints P>• Stateroom gifts and goodies P>• Pre-cruise and onboard wedding coordinator P>• Keepsake certificate

Princess Perfect Proposal $795

Package Highlights: P>• Secret proposal setup in a private indoor or outdoor location P>• Proposal rose and rose petal décor P>• Dedicated photographer and memorable prints P>• Celebration cake P>• Stateroom gifts and goodies P>• Pre-cruise and onboard coordinator

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.60 - 7.59%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 97.24 + 2.04%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 18.53 - 3.14%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Before selecting the former France for conversion into the cruise ship Norway, NCL examined three other 900 ft + former liners. Name at least two of the three former liners they did not select.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which former cruise ship began life as the container cargo ship Axel Johnson in 1969?

Answer - The former Axel Johnson of the Johnson Line was rebuilt as Costa Marina of Costa Cruises. She was rebuilt in 1989 with a large subsidy from the Italian government. An earlier attempt at a cruise ship conversion by Regency Cruises was stillborn. courtesy of R. Scafidi


Cruise News - June 19, 2023

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas Begins Sea Trials
Royal Caribbean International’s Icon of the Seas is on the move to sail the open ocean for the first time and reach its next construction milestone.

Ahead of a highly anticipated debut in January 2024, the first-of-its-kind vacation left the Meyer Turku shipyard – where it’s under construction in Turku, Finland – to begin its multiday sea trials.

On board are more than 450 specialists carrying out crucial, preliminary tests with Icon’s main engines, hull, lifeboats, thrusters and more in preparation for the new ship’s second round of sea trials later this year, where it will be pushed to its limits.

Carnival Venezia Debuts in New York City
Carnival Cruise Line welcomed the first guests to sail on Carnival Venezia from New York City today. The ship's launch in New York coincides with the busy summer travel season and builds on an exciting period of growth for Carnival, as the first of three ships to join the fleet over the next year.

A welcome event kicked off the celebration Wednesday evening for the ship's arrival to its homeport and the festivities continued Thursday morning in the Manhattan Cruise Terminal as the ship's first guests boarded to sail.

Carnival Venezia received a special blessing by Father Enrique Salvo of St. Patrick's Cathedral during the special welcome event, and acclaimed comedian and television host Jay Leno became the first godfather named to a Carnival ship. Leno also performed a special comedy show exclusively for Carnival's event guests.

"By highlighting his own Italian heritage, Jay is helping us celebrate the Italian theming guests will experience when they cruise on this beautiful ship," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "We've heard great reviews from guests who sailed on the ship's transatlantic crossing, and now I am so happy to welcome our first guests joining us from New York to enjoy what's in store for them."

The ceremony on Wednesday night also highlighted new entertainment programming and other concepts created for Carnival Venezia's debut. The ship is the first to introduce "Carnival Fun Italian Style" that adds Carnival's signature fun to the vessel's beautiful Italian theming. Carnival Venezia is architecturally styled after its namesake, the city of Venice, Italy.

Inside the Manhattan Cruise Terminal on Thursday morning, Duffy greeted guests with a special event to welcome them on board the new ship. Captain Claudio Cupisti and some of the first guests to board from New York joined Duffy to cut a ceremonial ribbon and officially begin embarkation.

Thursday's departure from New York will take guests on a four-day sailing that includes a visit to Bermuda. This summer, the ship will alternate between sailing four-, five- six- and eight-day sailings to the Caribbean, Bermuda and ports in Canada and New England, including Saint John's and Halifax.

Carnival Venezia's positioning from New York builds on the popularity of Carnival's past summer sailing deployments from the port by offering a longer deployment plan that features a more varied itinerary portfolio. Beyond the summer season, the ship will begin a new series on Sept. 29, 2023, that alternates between eight- to 12-day cruises to the Eastern Caribbean, Southern Caribbean and The Bahamas, visiting popular destinations like Saint Thomas, San Juan and Aruba, along with four of Carnival's private destinations: Half Moon Cay, Princess Cays, Amber Cove and Grand Turk. In addition, select cruises will feature Miami as a port of call.

Royal Caribbean’s Reveals More Details About Utopia of the Seas
Next summer, vacationers can celebrate the weekend in the biggest way ever. Royal Caribbean International has revealed the ultimate 3-night weekend and 4-night weekday getaway, Utopia of the Seas. As the first of the game-changing Oasis Class ships to offer short getaways when it debuts, the next big thing coming to vacations sets the stage to make more memories in one short trip than ever before. Starting July 2024 from Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida, Utopia will introduce unmatched weekend energy across a combination of more than 40 ways to dine and drink, more pools than the days to count, ways to thrill and chill, and more of all the above at Perfect Day at CocoCay – Royal Caribbean’s private island in The Bahamas – including the new adults-only Hideaway Beach opening in early 2024.

The signature adventures of the newest Oasis Class ship will make their short getaway debut alongside firsts and reimagined experiences, like a new Caribbean tiki bar, a first-of-its-kind immersive dining experience, the latest, greatest – and longest – dry slide at sea; newly designed resort-style pools; and more. Utopia opens for bookings on Royal Caribbean’s website as soon as Friday, June 23. Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members can book on Thursday, June 22.

“Vacationers are looking to make every moment count by celebrating and recharging with their friends and family, and Utopia of the Seas makes all that possible in more ways than one,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “With the variety of dining, bars, pools, entertainment and thrills that make Oasis Class ships revolutionary and the experiences to match on our private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay, we’ve combined the best of the best to create the world’s biggest weekend for everyone.”

Utopia is the getaway for friends, families and groups celebrating any occasion. Everyone can create their own weekend energy with their pick and mix of different types of pools and beaches, flavors from around the world, nightlife, entertainment and more.

Pool Days for Every Mood

Whether it’s days by the pool or the beach – both can be found on the ultimate getaway. Complemented by Perfect Day at CocoCay’s pools and white sand beaches, the vibes across Utopia’s five pools range from upbeat to lowkey.

• Resort-style and sloping beach-entry pools – Three pools and three Lime & Coconut bars are at the center of the action. Vacationers can hit the high-speed waterslides at The Perfect Storm, while young kids take on Splashaway Bay; kick back and soak in the sun and live island tunes; and enjoy quick, casual bites nearby like a new poolside food truck with handheld favorites; Mexican-inspired street food and drinks at El Loco Fresh and Cantina Fresca; and more.

• Solarium – The tranquil retreat is where adults can recharge in a pool and whirlpools of their own, complete with a bar, daybeds, panoramic ocean views and the Solarium Bistro.

• Suite Sun Deck – Tucked away in the exclusive Suite Neighborhood, the pool features a bird’s-eye view of the ocean in this private oasis with daybeds, loungers, umbrellas and more.

• To mix up the memory making, vacationers can dry off by diving into record-breaking thrills around every corner. From the most adrenaline-pumping Ultimate Abyss yet, now 43 feet longer at 259 feet and featuring new zoom booster rollers and transparent racing windows, to the 10-story-high zip line; the signature FlowRider surf simulator; mini golf at AquaDunes; and Utopia Playscape for young kids, there are adventures for everyone in the group.

A World Tour of Flavors

With more than 20 dining options, every type of vacationer can take their taste buds on a world tour while island hopping in The Bahamas.

• Immersive dining experience – Combining multiple courses, technology and different destinations and storylines, the new, one-of-a-kind experience to be revealed at a later date is a locomotive journey that engages all the senses.

• Izumi and Izumi in the Park – Joining the Royal Caribbean staple in its new Central Park location, is a convenient, new window that serves up fresh sushi and Japanese-inspired sweets. Next door is a reimagined Izumi restaurant, with double the teppanyaki tables and new al fresco seating.

• Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar – Now spanning two stories, the reimagined favorite and menu of authentic Italian dishes, varietals and classic cocktails with a twist extend to the new outside terrace – Gio’s Terrazza – that overlooks the signature Boardwalk.

• More returning favorites on the menu include The Mason Jar Southern Restaurant & Bar, where live country music complements southern staples; Windjammer, featuring hundreds of dishes and flavors for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner – all inspired by Royal Caribbean’s international chefs; Hooked Seafood; and Chops Grille, now connected to the signature Trellis Bar.

Celebrations for Every Occasion

Getting away is always a cause for celebration. Wherever and whenever on Utopia, travelers are just steps away from their next big cheers and night out, with more than 20 different bars and entertainment spots, two casinos, live music venues and showstopping entertainment.

• Pesky Parrot – The new Caribbean bar is a slice of laidback paradise on the Royal Promenade that serves up fruit-based cocktails made with rum, tequila and gin, alongside frozen drinks and more.

• Casino Royale – Upping the ante are two casinos that feature more than 370 slot machines, nearly 30 table games and more.

• Live music – It’s all about hitting the high note across five live music venues that range from Spotlight Karaoke to Latin hotspot Boleros, Music Hall, to rock out with the best cover bands at sea; Bell & Barley, the English pub with a live guitarist; and the classic piano bar, Schooner Bar.

• Showstopping entertainment – The cruise line’s original production shows take center stage across air, ice, water and theater, including high diving, slacklining and acrobatics at the AquaTheater; ice-skating feats at Studio B; and theatrical productions at the Royal Theater.

Utopia is the getaway for everyone – even when it comes to the rooms vacationers can choose from. Across more than 20 types of accommodations, groups of friends and families – however large or small – can find their perfect fit from rooms with views of the ocean or neighborhoods like the open-air Central Park and lively Boardwalk; layouts for three, four, five and more; or suites such as the Royal Loft Suite and Ultimate Family Suite, plus an all-new category – the Solarium Suites.

The celebrations also extend from ship to shores. The ultimate getaway packs in double the island time with visits to Nassau, The Bahamas, and Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay, the “Best Private Island” for three years running.* Between the two islands’ beaches and turquoise blue waters, and Perfect Day’s 13 waterslides, swim-up bar, pools, overwater cabanas and the upcoming adults-only Hideaway Beach, vacationers are in for more than one memorable beach day.

When it comes to hitting repeat on memory making, adventurers can choose to get away on Utopia any Friday or Monday or go all out on any ship in Royal Caribbean’s action-packed lineup of 3- to 8-night vacations from Port Canaveral, which includes the new Wonder of the Seas.

The ultimate 3- and 4-night getaway will also make waves when it debuts in July 2024 as the first Oasis Class ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the cleanest-burning marine fuel to date. As the cruise line’s second LNG-powered ship – following Icon of the Seas ­– Utopia will advance Royal Caribbean’s decades-long commitment to the environment by combining LNG technology with a lineup of the brand’s already-established environmentally friendly initiatives and features, from waste heat recovery systems to shore power connection.

Princess Unveils Park19: New Top-Deck Family Activity Zone to Debut on Board Sun Princess
The most engaging family activity zone ever featured on a Princess cruise ship is setting a course for adventure aboard the new Sun Princess, when the first Sphere Class vessel debuts Park19 in February 2024. Located on the top decks of Sun Princess, Park19 features nine engaging activities for the entire family to enjoy in a newly envisioned space perfect for fun and sun for all generations.

"Park19 as the name suggests is a new space created for all our guests, including activities to bring together multi-generational travel families in a location with spectacular views and fun outdoor activities for all," said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "The new area was tailored based on guest feedback for more family and group activities spaces."

Located on decks 19, 20, and 21, Park19 was envisioned for active guests and multi-generational families to explore and connect through inclusive and engaging activities, including:

• Sea Breeze – Inspired by the dream of hang gliding but in a safe environment, the Sea Breeze is the first Rollglider on a cruise ship and takes guests high above to enjoy panoramic views of the ocean and breathtaking ports of call. Using an overhead track, guests are seated and harnessed to this electric ride which reaches speeds of up to 11 mph during the 60- to 90-second experience that is also ADA accessible.

• Coastal Climb – On this engaging climbing structure guests ascend from decks 19 to 20 through a series of obstacles. Once at the top, guests can take in the gorgeous views before sliding back down to the bottom.

• The Lookout – At the top of the climbing structure, adventurers make their way to The Lookout open-air observation deck to take in stunning 360º views from the highest point available to guests onboard Sun Princess.

• The Net – Harnessed above deck 19, guests are challenged to trek across unstable bridges, a z-shaped balance beam and climb cargo nets.

• Infinite Horizon – For those who love heights, leaning tilt walls cantilevered over the side of the ship allow guests to peer out from deck 19 and look down to deck nine and beyond.

• Hammock Area – Another first for Princess, relaxing hammocks allow Park19 visitors to take a break from exploring to hang out with family and friends.

• Splash Zone – A whimsical splash area with pop jets and a beautiful water sculpture offer a refreshing and relaxing area to chill.

• Recreational Court – From ping pong, shuffleboard, Xponential Fitness classes and morning meditation, a rotation of sports and wellness options will be offered to guests in this multifunction sports court.

• Jogging Track – A refreshing open-air track allows guests to walk, jog or run at their own leisure and pace, with 6.7 times around the track equaling one mile.

Additional family-centric offerings onboard Sun Princess are found in the Youth & Teen Centers located on decks six and seven where activities and age-appropriate areas abound for all younger guests ages six months to 17. These complimentary areas include:

• Firefly Park – For the youngest Princess guests, this imaginative space, located on deck six, invites youngsters ages six months to seven years old and their families to explore, play and socialize. This family center is a place to play together or drop kids off for a program of art projects, theme parties and group games. Firefly Park also invites families with babies and toddlers, ages six months to three, to crawl and engage their senses with a dedicated play area. After hours group babysitting is available from 10 pm – 1 am for $5 per hour, for ages three - 12.

• Neon Grove (tweens) and The Underground (teens) – Located on deck seven, two separate areas offer an inviting space for tweens and teens to hang out, socialize, and just have fun. Both spaces feature colorful, comfy sofas and chairs for lounging, PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch gaming consoles, plus air hockey, foosball, and skeeball. Program activities for these age groups include ship scavenger hunts, movie nights, friendly competitions, and dance parties.

"These expanded offerings give younger cruisers plenty to explore and enjoy aboard Sun Princess, creating an even more family-friendly experience with something for everyone regardless of age," Padgett added.

Oceania Cruises Launches Rare Wine Collection Across Its Entire Fleet
Oceania Cruises has debuted a new rare wine collection across its fleet complementing its top-quality gastronomic experiences. The line's newly upgraded, luxury wines and vintage lists will be featured for the first time across the entire fleet's vetted menus. Starting with 80 new labels sourced from Italy, France, South America and more, this global collection not only satisfies, but easily impresses, the world's most opulent wine connoisseurs and spirit reviewers, while also making introductions more approachable for those who are not already well-versed.

With various selections of new and old world options, celebration wines, classic tastings and dessert pairings, each offering has been hand selected by Oceania Cruises' culinary team with every bottle taking 6-8 months to receive from elite suppliers in the industry. Highlights from the new collection include rare wine varieties like the classic Moët & Chandon Cuvée Dom Pérignon, Epernay, France, the famous Château Mouton Rothschild, 1er Cru Classe, Pauillac, France, the elegant Ornellaia "Super Tuscan", Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany, Italy, the hard to source Mascot, Napa Valley, California and the newly popular Vina Errazuriz Kai Carmenère, Aconcagua Valley, Chile. Guests are invited to try these newly featured labels and more at all restaurants, bars and suites across all seven ships, as well as various size bottles ranging from half sized to magnum.

"As we continue to expand our rare wine program and world-class onboard experiences, we are privileged to rely on the expert knowledge of our top culinary team who are actively collaborating and seeking out new products in the global food and beverage scene," said Frank A. Del Rio, President of Oceania Cruises. "We look forward to hearing the stories of our guests' memorable moments and shared celebrations while enjoying the new collection.

"We're excited to launch Oceania Cruises' new wine collection featuring the highest quality, hand-picked rare wine labels that reflect the global philosophy of the company," said Daniela Oancea, Corporate Beverage Manager of Oceania Cruises. "We are lucky to have built close relationships with the world's most exclusive producers who have dedicated their lives to the art of winemaking and are continuously tasting and discovering new varieties to keep up with modern trends."

Complementing the new rare wine collection and leaning into the popularity of its thoughtfully crafted exclusive wine pairing dinners on its 1,200 guest ships Marina, Riviera, and Vista, the only cruise ships in the world designed specifically for foodies by foodies, Oceania Cruises has additionally launched three new dining experiences and five new pairing menus on its newest vessel, Vista. Taking inspiration from the new collection, guests now have the opportunity to join the head sommelier and his team during a two-hour exclusive Cellar's Wine Luncheon in the fleet's newest restaurant Ember. This hand-selected tasting takes guests on a bespoke dining journey into the culinary world of food and wine, featuring a five-course menu with each dish perfectly and intentionally paired with a different premium wine. New for the line, Vista has additionally added eight-person private dining rooms in its iconic Polo Grill and Toscana restaurants, each delivering two new tantalizing menus featuring a specially curated selection of gourmet dishes paired with premium wines from the onboard culinary team. With only eight guests per night, parties may select from the Polo Classic Menu, Polo Premium Menu, Toscana Classic Menu or Toscana Premium Menu.

With the highest percentage of culinary personnel devoted to the dining experience with one chef to every ten guests, exceptional cuisine has been a hallmark for Oceania Cruises since its first sailing in 2003. Earning the reputation as the cruise line of choice for epicureans, Oceania Cruises uses the freshest ingredients with all dishes prepared à la minute from its onboard Michelin-star quality galley. From exquisite fine dining partnerships to top interactive mixology experiences, Oceania Cruises continues to prioritize innovation in this sector with the finest culinary experiences offered while en route to dreamworthy destinations.

Carnival Cruise Line Brings Back Internship at Sea Program
Carnival Cruise Line’s entertainment team is helping students set sail for success, by re-introducing its Internship at Sea program. The cruise line welcomed 24 students from 24 different U.S. universities to join ships as Youth Staff, Fun Squad, Technicians and Sports Staff members.

“We’re elated to bring back this unique entertainment internship program that’s an incredible learning experience for both college students and our shipboard team members,” said Chris Nelson, vice president of entertainment. “It’s important for us to create these special opportunities to inspire the next generation and invest in the fun and memorable cruise vacations of the future.”

Over the summer, interns in this innovative program will receive hands-on experience, learning about teamwork, communication, problem-solving and leadership skills – all while earning college credit. Students are mentored by shipboard team members to help them transition to shipboard life.

Since the Internship at Sea started in 2016, 65 students have participated on 20 ships. Several past interns have utilized the knowledge and experience from the program to start careers in the cruise industry, taking on a range of roles, from cruise director to shoreside project manager.

In 2019, Carnival’s Internship at Sea program was recognized by WayUp, a U.S.-based job site for college students, as one of the top 100 internship programs in the country. The program was paused in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 15.80 + 7.34%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 95.30 + 1.86%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 19.13 + 3.91%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former cruise ship began life as the container cargo ship Axel Johnson in 1969?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Prior to S.O.S. a different code was used as the International signal for distress. What was the code, what did it stand for, and what was the first large passenger ship to use it to request help?

Answer - The code is CQD; meaning Come Quick Distress. This was used by the liner RMS Titanic after she struck an iceberg in April of 1912. courtesy of Patti Stasiak


Cruise News - June 12, 2023

MSC Cruises Officially Names Its Newest Flagship, Msc Euribia
MSC Cruises welcomed its much-anticipated new flagship to the fleet last Thursday during a Naming Ceremony taking place in Copenhagen. The traditional maritime ceremony will honor traditional maritime heritage and pay tribute to the environmentally advanced MSC Euribia, which is designed to be the most energy-efficient cruise ship ever.

MSC Euribia is MSC Cruises' second vessel powered by LNG, the cleanest marine fuel currently commercially available at scale. On board, she boasts a range of best-in-class environmental technology, including advanced onboard wastewater treatment systems and waste management handling. She has also been designed with the future in mind, allowing her to easily incorporate future innovations in sustainability, such as carbon-neutral synthetic and other alternative fuels as soon as they are available at scale.

MSC Euribia is expected to be the most energy-efficient cruise ship design in the world at the time of her launch.1 During her maiden voyage, MSC Euribia completed a net zero GHG emissions journey from Saint-Nazaire to Copenhagen, benefiting from the emissions reductions allowed by bio-LNG and application of the mass balance approach.

Renowned Danish television host, actress and model Sarah Grünewald will oversee the Naming Ceremony. Joining tonight's festivities are distinguished guests from around the world, key travel partners and international media, as well as top management from MSC Cruises and its parent company, MSC Group.

Godmother of MSC Cruises' fleet and globally recognized screen legend Sophia Loren will also be in attendance to officially name the ship, continuing her long-standing and close relationship with MSC Cruises.

The momentous occasion will include live entertainment and speeches combined with the important maritime tradition of cutting a ribbon to break a bottle of champagne over the ship's bow. Guests will also be treated to a gourmet gala dinner and unforgettable performances, including a spectacular DJ set by Bob Sinclar, internationally acclaimed French DJ and record producer, who will close out the evening.

The special event will give guests a first look at the revolutionary new ship's cutting-edge design and various world-class guest experiences.

MSC Euribia begins sailing in Northern Europe this summer with 7-night sailings from Kiel, Germany and Copenhagen, Denmark to the captivating Norwegian Fjords, including Geiranger, Ålesund, and Flaam.

Carnival Venezia Arrives Home to New York City
Carnival Venezia, the latest addition to the Carnival Cruise Line fleet, sailed into its New York City homeport for the first time this morning. The ship’s guests just completed a 15-day transatlantic sailing that began in Barcelona, Spain.

Carnival will host a welcome ceremony on board the ship Wednesday evening and acclaimed comedian and television host Jay Leno will become the first godfather named to a Carnival ship. On Thursday, Carnival Venezia will mark its first departure from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, with guests set to embark on a four-day cruise visiting Bermuda.

Carnival Venezia is debuting “Carnival Fun Italian Style” and introducing several new concepts, from restaurants and bars to entertainment programming. The new venues and experiences enhance the ship’s theming, as its design is inspired by the city of Venice, Italy.

The 25th ship in the fleet, Carnival Venezia will offer a wide range of options for guests cruising from New York, including 10 different cruise durations and 22 unique itineraries featuring visits to 25 ports across 14 countries.

Celebrity Cruises Reveals Details for Its Upcoming Ship - Celebrity Ascent
Today, Celebrity Cruises unveils for the very first time details about what travelers can experience on board the brand's newest resort at sea, Celebrity Ascent, once it launches this November. As one of the most awarded premium cruise lines, with the first ships to ever receive the coveted Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating, Celebrity Cruises is once again making waves with the arrival of its fourth Edge Series ship. Touted as one of the "Best New U.S. Cruises of 2023" by Conde Nast Traveler, Celebrity Ascent will be the newest ship based in South Florida for the 2023-2024 Caribbean season. Cruising out of Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale from December 2023 to April 2024, the stunning new ship will transport guests to some of the Caribbean's most desired destinations like the Bahamas, Grand Cayman, Puerto Rico, and the British Virgin Islands, before departing to Europe for a summer of bucket-list Mediterranean cruises in Greece, Italy, Turkey, Spain and France.

On board Celebrity Ascent, guests will enjoy the signature experiences of the brand's Edge Series ships, including its industry-first outward facing design that maximizes views and outdoor areas allowing guests to connect with the world around them, a robust food and beverage program with 30 plus choices from casual to fine dining to satisfy all palates, plus spacious and sleek staterooms in a breadth of accommodation options catering to all travelers from solo adventurers and couples, to multi-generational family groups.

"I am so excited to introduce the world to Celebrity Ascent and continue the legacy of Celebrity's Edge Series," says Celebrity Cruises' President, Laura Hodges Bethge. "First launched in 2018, the Edge Series transformed what cruising could be and its ships like Edge, Apex and Beyond quickly became consumer favorites. Continuously striving to offer travelers a better way to enjoy travel and reach the world around them, we are so proud of what we have built and look forward to welcoming both seasoned and new cruisers alike."

Edge Series Favorites Return:

Incorporating all the features that made her sister ships in the Edge Series a TIME magazine "World's Greatest Places," Celebrity Ascent will bring back favored signature experiences, like:

• The Theatre - that takes entertainment at sea to a new level with state-of-the-art technology and experiential, imaginative performances.

• The Rooftop Garden - the ultimate outdoor haven where guests can enjoy live music, movies, infinity float pools, and even al fresco dining at the Rooftop Garden Grill.

• The Spa - where holistic wellness takes center stage through 120 destination-inspired treatments, the SEA Thermal Suite featuring eight distinctive therapeutic experiences inspired by nature, plus specialty treatment beds, a full-service salon and barber.

• The sprawling Resort Deck - featuring a main pool lined with cabanas, two-story martini-glass-shaped hot tubs, and The Solarium, an adults-only, tranquil spa-inspired retreat built for relaxation and complete with pool, hot tub and loungers.

• The Sunset Bar designed by Nate Berkus - where an international beach club ambiance meets fresh sea breezes and boundless views.

• The Magic Carpet - the world's first cantilevered lounge and gathering space at sea sits on the edge of the ship, offering a new way to drink, dine and socialize while enjoying unobstructed panoramic views.

• Inventive culinary experiences – like the three-story Eden Bar and Restaurant featuring floor-to-ceiling views, or the fully immersive and animated Le Petit Chef dinner.

• The Grand Plaza and Martini Bar – that stun guests with an interactive chandelier and jaw-dropping Flair, Flash, Fusion bartender shows.

• Modernized accommodation options – such as the Infinite Veranda that transforms from window to terrace with the push of a button, and the AquaClass staterooms built for wellbeing-seekers that are packed with thoughtful design and exclusive amenities.

New Food and Beverage Experiences:

Celebrity Ascent will treat guests to a culinary journey that includes new experiences like:

• Redesigned Le VoyageSM by Daniel Boulud restaurant – first featured on Celebrity BeyondSM, the brand will continue its partnership with Boulud and introduce his second restaurant at sea. The reimagined space, created by KTGY Simeone Deary Design Group, will offer an intimate fine dining experience inspired by the Chef's travels.

• Plant-based tasting menu at Eden Restaurant - bringing guests closer to the earth through a culinary journey rooted in untouched, fresh and seasonal ingredients.

• Never-before-seen Le Petit Chef dinner - the crowd favorite dinner will feature an all-new animation and menu to match.

• Bourbon offerings and tastings - expanding on existing whiskey tastings, Craft Social will now offer high-end bourbons and new tasting seminars.

• More Martinis at the Martini Bar – aligning with the trend of low-sugar cocktails and fresh, crisp ingredients, the Martini Bar will feature brand-new creations and an expanded menu including lychee and passion fruit martinis.

• Revitalized Main Dining Experience - once again featuring four complimentary main dining options, each with a signature menu and rotating nightly dishes, Ascent will feature a redesigned Cosmopolitan restaurant inspired by the culture of champagne.

• Outdoor terrace at Blu - the clean-cuisine restaurant exclusive to AquaClass guests will feature an outdoor terrace with 24-person seating that will be available for daytime dining, from al fresco brunches to lunches.

New Entertainment, Art and Retail Experiences:

On board Ascent, travelers will enjoy enhanced entertainment, art and retail offerings like:

• Nightly entertainment - as the sun sets the Resort Deck will become the center stage for the ultimate nightlife experience treating guests to an open-air celebration with live performances, live music, and a DJ creating a pulsating dance floor.

• New production shows - building on Celebrity's award-winning entertainment, the brand is partnering with industry-leading creatives to introduce three spectacular new productions shows in The Theatre, new interactive digital experiences and shows in The Club, and new engaging immersive shows in the Eden Bar and Restaurant, all featuring world-class dances, vocalists, musicians and specialty artists.

• Redesigned Casino floor and brand-new games - a first for Celebrity Cruises, Ascent will feature an all-new gaming floor complete with a new layout, new design featuring deep reds and golds, and all new slot machines with the latest technology.

• Redesigned Art Gallery - the new space is thoughtfully reimagined, allowing guests to better experience priceless art pieces, and enjoy exclusive auctions and art events.

• The Sunset Collection by Nate Berkus - a collection of chic travel and home accessories available exclusively on board Celebrity Ascent.

How to Set Sail on Celebrity Ascent:

With a vast array of dates and itinerary options catering to all kinds of travelers, Ascent is slated for an exciting winter Caribbean and summer Europe season. Options to sail include:

• Be one of the first to experience Ascent by booking one of the Preview sailings, such as the 4-Night Western Caribbean voyage on November 22, 2023, or the 3-Night Bahamas getaway on November 26, 2023.

• Join a monumental celebration by taking part in the 7-Night Eastern Caribbean Maiden Voyage on December 3, 2023.

• Pick and choose from one of the ship's signature Caribbean sailings that take place from mid-December 2023 to early April 2024, like the 7-Night Bahamas, Mexico and Grand Cayman itinerary or the 7-Night San Juan, Tortola and St. Kitts.

• Celebrate the holidays at sea during the 7-Night Bahamas, Mexico and Grand Cayman Holiday Cruise departing on December 24, 2023, or ring in the New Year on the 7-Night San Juan, Tortola, and St. Kitts cruise departing on December 31, 2023.

• Kick off the summer with the ultimate Mediterranean getaway on the 9-Night Italian Riviera and France itinerary; or cross Rome, Naples, Mykonos, and Santorini off your bucket-list during the 12-Night Best of Greece and Italy itinerary.

Spooky Fun and Merry Magic Await Disney Cruise Line Guests on Halloween and Holiday Cruises in Fall 2024
The fun of fall and winter holidays will meet the magic of Disney Cruise Line in late 2024 with the return of Halloween on the High Seas and Very Merrytime Cruises. With rare itineraries to Hawaii and the South Pacific and more opportunities to visit Disney's newest island destination in The Bahamas, families will have the chance to experience the fall seasons at sea in new and exciting ways.

Halloween on the High Seas

Halloween on the High Seas returns to Disney Cruise Line in mid-September through October 2024. This season of extra-special sailings will bring the fun of Halloween to guests on select cruises across the fleet with a host of added entertainment. Families will dress up and join Disney characters in their Halloween costumes; dance the night away at a spooky celebration on the upper decks; enjoy spinetingling themed food and beverages; and immerse themselves in a ghostly ship takeover with elaborate décor and a magical Pumpkin Tree.

From Port Canaveral, Florida, the Disney Wish will sail three- and four-night Bahamian voyages full of frightful fun, while the Disney Fantasy will offer these special themed cruises with lengths varying from four, six and seven nights. Four- and six-night sailings on board the Disney Fantasy will take families to The Bahamas, while seven-night escapes will transport guests to fan-favorite destinations throughout The Bahamas and Caribbean.

The Disney Magic will depart from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on vacations ranging from three to five nights to tropical destinations in The Bahamas and Caribbean. Select sailings on both the Disney Magic and the Disney Fantasy will include a chance for families to discover fun and relaxation at Disney Cruise Line's newest destination in The Bahamas. Located on the island of Eleuthera at Lighthouse Point, this vibrant beach retreat will be a unique celebration of Bahamian culture brought to life with the quality and service of a Disney vacation.

Very Merrytime Cruises

From mid-November through December 2024, the Disney Cruise Line fleet will be decked from bow to stern with holiday cheer and entertainment during Very Merrytime Cruises. Holiday magic will be unwrapped for the whole family with joyful holiday décor; favorite characters in their finest festive attire; themed activities that are merry and bright; and celebrations on deck that are full of holiday spirit.

Families who want to spend the most wonderful time of the year with Disney Cruise Line will have opportunities to sail from two home ports in Florida, as well as a selection of cruises from Galveston, Texas.

Short holiday getaways will be offered from both home ports in the Sunshine State, with a selection of three- and four-night Bahamian Very Merrytime voyages on the Disney Wish from Port Canaveral and four- and five-night cruises to The Bahamas and Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale aboard the Disney Dream.

The Disney Fantasy will also embark a variety of four-night Very Merrytime sailings to The Bahamas, along with longer six- and seven-night itineraries in November and December. Select voyages on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy will include a day of fun in the sun along the white sand beaches of Disney Cruise Line's newest destination at Lighthouse Point during the holiday season.

Cheerful cruises from Galveston aboard the Disney Magic will range in length from four to six nights, allowing families to celebrate the holiday season together while visiting tropical ports of call throughout the Caribbean.

Special Sailings to Hawaii and the South Pacific

In addition to the festive themed sailings, Disney Cruise Line guests can experience bucket-list itineraries in late 2024. The Disney Wonder will sail from Vancouver, Canada, to Honolulu, Hawaii, in late September with stops on the islands of Kauai, Maui and Hawaii before arriving in Oahu. From Hawaii, the Disney Wonder will embark on a transpacific voyage to Sydney, Australia, that will take families through the South Pacific to visit once-in-a-lifetime destinations such as Fiji, American Samoa and New Caledonia.

Disney Cruise Line will then set sail on its second season of vacations from Australia and New Zealand, bringing the magic of Disney close to home for local families in the region.

HAL Set To Sail Most Diverse Asia Cruise Season With 49 Ports Across 10 Countries In 2024-2025
For Holland America Line’s 2024-2025 Asia season, the cruise line is set to explore the Far East with departures from Hong Kong, China; Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan; and Singapore to some of the most exciting cities across 10 countries, with a strong focus on Japan.

Noordam will sail a series of nine different 14-day itineraries that travel around Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The cruises showcase the diversity of the countries while celebrating their unique histories. Late departures and overnight ports allow extra time for sampling the nightlife, cuisine and culture of the region.

“The demand for Asia remains strong as cruisers seek experiences to exotic and off-the-beaten-path locales that give them unique travel moments,” said Beth Bodensteiner, Holland America Line’s chief commercial officer. “By offering three departure cities we’re able to diversify our itineraries and showcase an incredibly robust season. With 24 ports in Japan alone and two dozen more spread among several countries, our guests are in for an immersive Asia adventure.”

Westerdam also heads to Asia on a new 53-day “Majestic Japan” Legendary Voyage roundtrip from Seattle. Travelers can visit the Far East with a convenient North American flight, easy embarkation and jetlag-free journey spanning several time zones.

Longer Legendary Voyages on Two Ships

• LEGENDARY VOYAGE: New 53- or 52-Day “Majestic Japan” aboard Westerdam departing Sept. 1 or 2, 2024, either roundtrip Seattle, Washington, or between Vancouver, Canada, and Seattle. Featuring 21 total ports, 13 calls throughout Japan and overnights at Yokohama (Tokyo) and Kobe, Japan, and Honolulu, Hawaii.

• LEGENDARY VOYAGE: New 28-Day “Coral Triangle, Volcanoes and The Great Barrier Reef” departing Jan. 5, 2025, roundtrip from Singapore aboard Noordam that explores 10 ports in five countries, including Indonesia and the Philippines, with scenic cruising in the famed Great Barrier Reef, Torres Strait, and past the Kumba and Krakatau volcanoes.

Highlights of the 2024-2025 Asia Season

• Noordam explores Asia from September 2024 through April 2025.

• Overnight calls include Yokohama (Tokyo) and Kobe (Osaka); Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand; and Da Nang, Vietnam.

• The cruises visit a combined 49 ports in the region, including 24 in Japan.

• “North Pacific Crossing” between Vancouver and Yokohama:

• 13 days, departing Sept. 29, 2024, Vancouver to Yokohama, including calls at Sitka and Kodiak, Alaska, and Kushiro, Japan.

• 15 days, departing April 27, 2025, Yokohama to Vancouver, including Kushiro, and Alaska’s Kodiak, Juneau, Ketchikan and Glacier Bay.

• “Circle Japan” — 14 days, roundtrip from Yokohama. Three itineraries:

• Osaka (Kobe), Kochi, Fukuoka, Sakaiminato, Niigata, Aomori, Otaru (Sapporo) and Hakodate, all in Japan, as well as Sokcho, South Korea.

• Kochi, Kagoshima, Nagasaki, Kanazawa, Niigate, Otaru, Aomori and Hakodate, all in Japan, as well as Busan (Pusan), South Korea.

• Shimizu, Kobe, Kochi, Hiroshima, Sakaiminato, Tsuruga, Toyama, Akita, Hakodate and Miyako, all in Japan; as well as Sokcho.

• “Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines” — 14 days, between Yokohama and Singapore. Calls at Osaka (overnight), Naha and Ishigaki, Japan; Keelung (Taipei) and Kaohsiung, Taiwan; and Manila, Boracay and Puerto Princesa, Philippines.

• “Far East Discovery” — 14 days, between Hong Kong and Singapore. Calls at Halong Bay, Da Nang (Hue), Nha Trang and Phu My, Vietnam; Sihanoukville, Cambodia; and Laem Chabang (Bangkok, overnight) and Nathon (Koh Samui), Thailand.

• “Far East Discovery Holiday” — 14 days, roundtrip from Singapore. Thailand: Nathon (Koh Samui) and Laem Chabang (Bangkok, overnight). Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Phu My, Halong Bay and Da Nang (overnight).

• “Indonesian Discovery” — 14 days, roundtrip from Singapore. All calls are in Indonesia and include Probolinggo and Semarang, Java; Celukan Bawang and Benoa (Denpasar), Bali; Komodo Island; Lembar, Lombok; and Tanjung Priok, Jakarta. Scenic cruising by the active Krakatau Volcano.

• “Japan and Taiwan” — 14 days, roundtrip from Yokohama. Japan: Amami (Naze), Naha, Ishigaki Island, Nagasaki, Abruatsu, Kochi and Kobe. Taiwan: Hualien and Keelung (Taipei).

• “Japan and South Korea Discovery” — 14 days, roundtrip from Yokohama. Japan: Kobe (overnight), Kochi, Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Kagoshima. South Korea: Sokocho, Busan, Jeju City (Cheju) and Incheon (Seoul).

Royal Caribbean Group Extends Collaboration to Capture Critical Ocean Conservation Data Onboard Ships
Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) Strengthening a decades-long commitment to ocean conservation and environmental research efforts, Royal Caribbean Group today announced a four-year extension of its investment in OceanScope, an open-source data program that provides scientists with critical information to study climate and ocean conservation. Collaborating with key program partners including the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science, NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the program's renewal on World Oceans Day builds on over 20 years of groundbreaking ocean and marine life research from Royal Caribbean Group ships.

OceanScope leverages a unique, comprehensive suite of oceanographic and meteorological instruments, located onboard Royal Caribbean Group ships, that generates continuous, simultaneous collection of the ocean's vital signs such as the structure of currents, sea surface temperature, carbon dioxide concentrations, and salinity taken along the repetitive ship routes – which allows scientists to monitor changes on scales of seasons, years, and even decades.

"At Royal Caribbean Group, every day is World Oceans Day – and we are thrilled to renew a program as impactful to oceanic research as OceanScope," said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. "We're dedicated to sustaining our planet and delivering the best vacations, responsibly – and our decades-long support of this unique initiative is testament to that. We can't wait to see how OceanScope, and our scientific collaborators progress our understanding of ocean health and conservation."

OceanScope's open-source database is available to the international scientific research community worldwide. The resulting data products and peer-reviewed research are key to informing ocean and conservation policy.

Launched in 2002, the program helped verify for the first time that ocean acidification – a reduction in pH over an extended period of time caused primarily by uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere was occurring in the Caribbean Sea but at varying rates. Ocean acidification is detrimental to calcifying organisms such as oysters, clams, sea urchins, shallow water corals, deep sea corals, and calcareous plankton, and an ongoing concern for the entire food web.

Extending OceanScope on Royal Caribbean Group ships helps ensure ongoing monitoring and changes of key ocean and atmospheric processes in critical ecosystems.

"We are most grateful to renew our successful collaboration with Royal Caribbean Group," said Dr. Peter Ortner, research professor of marine biology and ecology at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric and Earth Science. "This is an extraordinary example of how private industry, academic research institutions, and government agencies are collaborating to amass an incredibly valuable dataset highlighting the intricate connection between the ocean, atmosphere, and climate."

As of 2023, data has been collected from over 100,000 nautical miles sailed from four ships, traveling across the Caribbean Sea, Galapagos, North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. Royal Caribbean International's Allure of the Seas and Adventure of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Flora and Celebrity Equinox are currently providing data to scientists at NOAA, the University of Miami Rosenstiel School, and the community at large. Royal Caribbean Group intends to share the program's learning to its more than eight million guests annually in an effort to increase ocean literacy.

"NASA is excited to revive its long-standing partnership with OceanScope, which is a valuable player in the Agency-led efforts to understand Earth climate today, and inform humanity for what waits tomorrow. Looking at Earth's ocean's from space and leveraging in situ observations enabled by projects like OceanScope is what allows us to build robust knowledge of ocean's role in climate, which controls our planet's heat, energy, and water," said Dr. Nadya Vinogradova Shiffer, lead of NASA's Climate Variability and Change Focus Area and program director of the NASA Ocean Physics program at NASA HQ, Washington, D.C.

"Sustained and systematic operations with automated instruments on a variety of platforms, including this innovative collaboration, is a key to maintaining and strengthening the World Meteorological Organization's and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission's Global Ocean Observing System to which NOAA is a major contributor," said Rik Wanninkhof, a NOAA senior scientist and ocean carbon expert at the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory. "In particular, the CO2, surface temperature and salinity data from Royal Caribbean Group's ships are major contributors to these ocean observing networks to determine the ocean's carbon sink strength and ocean acidification." 

Royal Caribbean Group's conservation work extends beyond OceanScope, with the company championing a broader commitment to sustaining the planet as part of its SEA the Future platform. Royal Caribbean Group is actively working to decarbonize its business through innovation, collaborative partnerships and a transition to cleaner fuels, smarter technologies, and improved energy efficiencies. Ultimately, the company's efforts are driving toward – Destination Net Zero – a commitment to reach net-zero by 2050 and to deliver a net-zero emissions cruise ship by 2035.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 14.72 + 19.67%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 93.56 + 6.80%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 18.41 + 16.67%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Prior to S.O.S. a different code was used as the International signal for distress. What was the code, what did it stand for, and what was the first large passenger ship to use it to request help?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which liner was the favorite of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor for Atlantic crossings during the 1950's? On crossings they would always book the same suites and travel with nearly 100 pieces of luggage and their pug dogs.

Answer - The favorite liner of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in the 1950's was the United States. They switched to the then new USL liner because of the panache of her speed record, and also because Cunard Line had informed them that they would have to charge the couple a baggage handling fee for the extensive number of bags and trunks they carried, and would no longer honor the "free passage" Cunard had provided for members of the Royal Family. courtesy of Hal Einhorn, New Jersey


Cruise News - June 5, 2023

Viking's Newest Ocean Ship Named by Metropolitan Opera Chairman Ann Ziff
Viking today named its newest ocean ship, the Viking Saturn, with a celebration in New York City. As part of the event, the ship's ceremonial godmother, Ann Ziff, the esteemed philanthropist and Chairman of the Metropolitan Opera, a longtime Viking cultural partner, offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for the ship—a maritime tradition that dates back thousands of years. The ship will now continue her inaugural season, sailing two new Viking voyages: Iconic Iceland, Greenland & Canada, between New York City and Reykjavik, and Iceland & Norway's Arctic Explorer, between Reykjavik and Bergen.

"This is a very proud day for Viking as we name our newest identical ocean ship in New York City, one of the great cultural capitals of the world," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "It is especially fitting that Ann Ziff, Chairman of the Metropolitan Opera—one of the world's greatest cultural institutions—has honored us by serving as godmother of the Viking Saturn. We thank Ann for her loyalty as a Viking guest, as well as her many impressive contributions to the arts and other important causes."

"It is an honor to be godmother of the new Viking Saturn and celebrate this momentous occasion in New York," said Ann Ziff. "Viking and the Metropolitan Opera share a common goal in creating enriching experiences throughout the world and there is no doubt the Viking Saturn will do just that for her guests."

In keeping with the naming tradition, during the ceremony Ziff used the steel sword from the Metropolitan Opera's production of Verdi's Il Trovatore to cut a ribbon that allowed a bottle of Norwegian aquavit to break on the ship's hull. The prop sword was originally used by baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky in the role of Count di Luna in David McVicar's production, which premiered in the 2008-2009 season. Prior to the ribbon cutting, the sword was presented to Ziff by Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the Countess of Carnarvon, who is also the godmother of the Viking Mars and a Viking Longship, the Viking Skadi.

As part of the ceremony, guests also enjoyed performances from Sissel Kyrkjebø, one of the world's leading crossover sopranos and godmother of the Viking Jupiter and Norwegian violinist Tor Jaran Apold. Following a celebratory dinner on board the ship, stars of the Metropolitan Opera—soprano Susanna Phillips, tenor Charles Castronovo, and baritone Quinn Kelsey—treated guests to a performance of opera classics, including selections from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata, Antonín Dvorák's Rusalka, Giacomo Puccini's La Bohème, as well as a collection of American musical classics from Rodgers and Hammerstein, Jerome Kern and others.

A dedicated philanthropist focused on the arts, education, culture and environmental conservation, Ann Ziff is Chairman of the Metropolitan Opera and serves on several boards, including the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Sing for Hope, the World Science Festival and the Los Angeles Opera. Passionate about bringing culture and arts into the lives of children in need, she co-founded Smile Train and was a board member at Maloto, an organization that provides education and housing for abused and abandoned girls in Malawi. Ms. Ziff also has an eponymous fine jewelry brand, Tamsen Z, where she designs and creates one-of-a-kind pieces inspired by her love of culture, art and music as well as her travels as a loyal Viking guest.

Carnival Names Jay Leno as 'Godfather' to Carnival Venezia
Carnival Cruise Line today announced that acclaimed late night talk show host and comedian Jay Leno will serve as its first ever godfather to one of its ships, Carnival Venezia, at a celebratory event on June 14, 2023 when the ship is blessed and enters service from New York City. The ship is the first to incorporate "Carnival Fun Italian Style" that adds Carnival's signature fun to the beautiful Italian theming of the vessel. In addition to serving as the Godfather, Leno will perform a special comedy show exclusively for Carnival's event guests, in partnership with Carnival World Mastercard.

"Carnival Venezia originally entered service for our Italian sister brand Costa Cruises and was christened in 2019, so she already has a godmother. With Carnival Venezia joining the fleet and sailing from New York, we wanted to ensure a proper welcome for the ship and decided having a godfather would be both fun and appropriate," said Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy. "And when we thought of someone who would make a FUN godfather with Italian heritage, we knew Jay Leno would be the perfect godfather! And he's already a member of the Carnival family – he entertained guests a few years ago as part of our Carnival LIVE entertainment series."

"I am truly honored to be named the godfather of Carnival Venezia. It was an offer I couldn't refuse," said Leno. "Carnival's focus on FUN combined with the Italian theming of this ship is something that is truly unique. I'm also excited to have my very own cruise ship, although I think I'll need a bigger garage!"

A native of New Rochelle, NY, Leno is the grandson of immigrants from Flumeri, Campania, Italy. He began his entertainment career in stand-up comedy, which led to the nearly two-decades-long role he is best known for as host of The Tonight Show, from which he retired in 2014. During most of his tenure, Leno's The Tonight Show was the top-ranked talk show on late night, and he earned the reputation as being "the hardest working man in show business."

Leno currently produces and is host of the CNBC primetime series Jay Leno's Garage that is now in its seventh season and explores the world of cars, never forgetting that it's the people behind the wheel who provide the real stories. The series debuted in October 2015 and delivered CNBC's most-watched first season in network history. He remains in demand as a stand-up performer, corporate speaker and the host of the game show reboot, You Bet Your Life.

Carnival Venezia celebrates Venice, Italy, and has many spaces on board that are reminiscent of her namesake. When guests enter the ship, they arrive in the Venice-inspired atrium Piazza San Marco, the onboard flavor and flair continues at restaurants like the elegant Marco Polo and Canal Grande Restaurants, along with the new Italian specialty restaurant, "Il Viaggio." Carnival Playlist Productions shows entertain guests at the Teatro Rosso theater that is reminiscent of Italian opera houses.

Guests will also find many Carnival mainstays they know and love on board, including Guy Fieri's Guy's Burger Joint, the steakhouse Fahrenheit 555, Bonsai Sushi & Teppanyaki and the Chef's Table, along with Lido Marketplace, Seafood Shack and Pizzeria del Capitano, Piano Bar 88 and Heroes Tribute Lounge.

Carnival Venezia is set to arrive to her new home in New York City and begin sailing from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal on June 15, 2023. The ship accommodates more than 5,000 guests and will offer 10 different cruise durations and 22 unique itineraries featuring visits to 25 ports across 14 countries.

Sapphire Princess Rescues Passengers and Crew From Expedition Ship in Alaska
Princess Cruises’ Sapphire Princess rescued 67 people after an engine room fire broke out on another ship.The cruise line successfully transferred 51 passengers and 16 crew members from Wilderness Discoverer to Sapphire Princess on Monday (5 June) as the ship headed to Glacier Bay in Alaska.

The 2,670-passenger Sapphire Princess was alerted by the US Coast Guard to assist the Wilderness Discoverer.

“We are pleased to report there are no injuries and that our crew aboard Sapphire Princess are feeding and taking great care of these passengers,” the company said in a statement.

Princess Cruises continues to work with the US Coast Guard and local authorities to support these passengers in their forward travel.

“We are proud to have been able to render assistance and would like to take this opportunity to thank the crew of Sapphire Princess led by our Captain Todd McBain as well as our colleagues with the U.S. Coast Guard on this positive outcome,” Princess added in the statement.

Sapphire Princess is sailing on a 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers Alaska itinerary that departed from Vancouver on May 31.

Homemade, Fresh Pasta and New Dishes Highlight HAL's Refreshed Canaletto Menu
Fresh pasta made on board and authentic Italian dishes are the focus of Holland America Line's updated Canaletto menu. Guests dining at the specialty restaurant, which is open for dinner only, can indulge in a meal that includes several new selections, along with signature favorites that remain on the menu.

Updated menu at Italian specialty restaurant features new recipes and cocktails

Canaletto offers a quintessential Italian experience, and all the pasta is made fresh on board by Holland America Line's expertly trained chefs. The refreshed menu offers a three-course meal that includes Small Plates, Homemade Pastas and Entrées, and Desserts, in addition to a Special of the Day.

"The pasta we make on board is exceptional and we want the updated menu to continue to reflect an Italian experience with a focus on freshness and authenticity," said Michael Stendebach, Holland America Line's vice president, food and beverage. "Each course has a selection that brings the flavors of Italy on board no matter where our ships are cruising, and the update adds some exciting new dishes and cocktails."

Small Plates, Big Flavors

Guests can start their meal at Canaletto with a Small Plate. The popular Antipasto Plate features prosciutto di parma, finocchiona salami, truffle salami, Terre Ducali coppa, Parmigiano Reggiano and Sicilian olives. Other options include Veal and Sage Meatballs, Burrata, Canaletto Salad and Grilled Tiger Shrimp.

Entrées Showcase Fresh Pasta

Fresh pasta made on board is the star of the entrée selections. New dishes include Casarecce Pesto Genovese, Italian Sausage Paccheri, Seared Mediterranean Seabass and Mussels, Scallop and Calamari Trenette. Returning favorites include Chianti-Braised Beef Short Rib and Herb and Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast. Formerly a once-a-week special, Ossobuco is now offered daily.

Delectable Italian Desserts

Italy is known for its amazing sweets, and Canaletto's menu features a selection of traditional desserts, including Tiramisu, Lemon Ricotta Baked Cheesecake, Chocolate Hazelnut Tart, Affogato and a trio of gelato. The gelatos are also made fresh daily on board.

Cocktails Feature Italian Favorites

In addition to the cuisine, new cocktails highlight the refreshed menu. Guests can say saluti with an Aperol Spritz, Spumoni (made with Holland America Line's own De Lijn Gin), Tuscan Lemon Drop and a Canaletto Bellini with a selection of fruit puree. The menu also includes a selection of sparkling, white and red wine, as well as beer and digestives.

Dinner at Canaletto is a $25 surcharge per person or included as a specialty dining option under the "Have it All" package.

Royal Caribbean Group Announces Ground-breaking Biofuel Testing
This summer, Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) will set a new industry milestone in alternative fuel use when Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Apex and Royal Caribbean International's Symphony of the Seas, set sail in Europe using sustainable biofuel to meet part of the ships' fuel needs. The landmark test will contribute critical data and research on the fuel's capabilities and supply chain infrastructure needed to further the industry's alternative fuel ambitions.

During the three-month test, Celebrity Apex will depart from the Port of Rotterdam and Symphony of the Seas will depart from the Port of Barcelona, using a biofuel blend that reduces the ships' carbon emissions. The biofuel blend is produced by purifying renewable raw materials like oils and fats and combining it with fuel oil to create an alternative fuel that is cleaner and more sustainable.

"Biofuels will play an increasingly important role in achieving, not only our own, but the entire maritime sector's decarbonization goals in the short and medium term. We take great pride in continuing to push our industry forward in exploring innovative fuel solutions that reduce carbon impact and preserve the vibrancy of the oceans we sail," said Jason Liberty, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group.

The cruise company plans to continue increasing the use of alternative lower carbon fuel to meet the needs of its ships across the fleet. After the trials are completed this summer, Royal Caribbean Group plans to scale up the use of alternative fuels, including biofuels, across upcoming European summer sailings.

"With our sights set on a bright and sustainable future, we are committed to collaboration and innovation to ensure we deliver great vacation experiences, responsibly. With the completion of the trials our hope is to advance our ships' ability to meaningfully reduce emissions and propel forward strategic partnerships with suppliers and ports to ensure there is sufficient availability of biofuel and infrastructures to make maritime energy transition a reality," Liberty said.

This key step in Royal Caribbean Group's pursuit of alternative fuels follows closely after a biofuel trial on its California-based Navigator of the Seas, became the first a cruise ship to sail from a U.S. port while using renewable diesel fuel this past fall.

HAL Set to Sail Most Diverse Asia Cruise Season in 2024-2025
For Holland America Line's 2024-2025 Asia season, the cruise line is set to explore the Far East with departures from Hong Kong, China; Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan; and Singapore to some of the most exciting cities across 10 countries, with a strong focus on Japan.

Noordam will sail a series of nine different 14-day itineraries that travel around Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The cruises showcase the diversity of the countries while celebrating their unique histories. Late departures and overnight ports allow extra time for sampling the nightlife, cuisine and culture of the region.

Departures from Hong Kong, China; Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan; and Singapore to cities across 10 countrie

"The demand for Asia remains strong as cruisers seek experiences to exotic and off-the-beaten-path locales that give them unique travel moments," said Beth Bodensteiner, Holland America Line's chief commercial officer. "By offering three departure cities we're able to diversify our itineraries and showcase an incredibly robust season. With 24 ports in Japan alone and two dozen more spread among several countries, our guests are in for an immersive Asia adventure."

Westerdam also heads to Asia on a new 53-day "Majestic Japan" Legendary Voyage roundtrip from Seattle. Travelers can visit the Far East with a convenient North American flight, easy embarkation and jetlag-free journey spanning several time zones.

Longer Legendary Voyages on Two Ships

• LEGENDARY VOYAGE: New 53- or 52-Day "Majestic Japan" aboard Westerdam departing Sept. 1 or 2, 2024, either roundtrip Seattle, Washington, or between Vancouver, Canada, and Seattle. Featuring 21 total ports, 13 calls throughout Japan and overnights at Yokohama (Tokyo) and Kobe, Japan, and Honolulu, Hawaii.

• LEGENDARY VOYAGE: New 28-Day "Coral Triangle, Volcanoes and The Great Barrier Reef" departing Jan. 5, 2025, roundtrip from Singapore aboard Noordam that explores 10 ports in five countries, including Indonesia and the Philippines, with scenic cruising in the famed Great Barrier Reef, Torres Strait, and past the Kumba and Krakatau volcanoes.

Highlights of the 2024-2025 Asia Season

• Noordam explores Asia from September 2024 through April 2025.

• Overnight calls include Yokohama (Tokyo) and Kobe (Osaka); Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand; and Da Nang, Vietnam.

• The cruises visit a combined 49 ports in the region, including 24 in Japan.
"North Pacific Crossing" between Vancouver and Yokohama:
13 days, departing Sept. 29, 2024, Vancouver to Yokohama, including calls at Sitka and Kodiak, Alaska, and Kushiro, Japan.
15 days, departing April 27, 2025, Yokohama to Vancouver, including Kushiro, and Alaska's Kodiak, Juneau, Ketchikan and Glacier Bay.

• "Circle Japan" — 14 days, roundtrip from Yokohama. Three itineraries:
Osaka (Kobe), Kochi, Fukuoka, Sakaiminato, Niigata, Aomori, Otaru (Sapporo) and Hakodate, all in Japan, as well as Sokcho, South Korea.
Kochi, Kagoshima, Nagasaki, Kanazawa, Niigate, Otaru, Aomori and Hakodate, all in Japan, as well as Busan (Pusan), South Korea.
Shimizu, Kobe, Kochi, Hiroshima, Sakaiminato, Tsuruga, Toyama, Akita, Hakodate and Miyako, all in Japan; as well as Sokcho.

• "Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines" — 14 days, between Yokohama and Singapore. Calls at Osaka (overnight), Naha and Ishigaki, Japan; Keelung (Taipei) and Kaohsiung, Taiwan; and Manila, Boracay and Puerto Princesa, Philippines.

• "Far East Discovery" — 14 days, between Hong Kong and Singapore. Calls at Halong Bay, Da Nang (Hue), Nha Trang and Phu My, Vietnam; Sihanoukville, Cambodia; and Laem Chabang (Bangkok, overnight) and Nathon (Koh Samui), Thailand.

• "Far East Discovery Holiday" — 14 days, roundtrip from Singapore. Thailand: Nathon (Koh Samui) and Laem Chabang (Bangkok, overnight). Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Phu My, Halong Bay and Da Nang (overnight).

• "Indonesian Discovery" — 14 days, roundtrip from Singapore. All calls are in Indonesia and include Probolinggo and Semarang, Java; Celukan Bawang and Benoa (Denpasar), Bali; Komodo Island; Lembar, Lombok; and Tanjung Priok, Jakarta. Scenic cruising by the active Krakatau Volcano.

• "Japan and Taiwan" — 14 days, roundtrip from Yokohama. Japan: Amami (Naze), Naha, Ishigaki Island, Nagasaki, Abruatsu, Kochi and Kobe. Taiwan: Hualien and Keelung (Taipei).

• "Japan and South Korea Discovery" — 14 days, roundtrip from Yokohama. Japan: Kobe (overnight), Kochi, Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Kagoshima. South Korea: Sokocho, Busan, Jeju City (Cheju) and Incheon (Seoul).

Ranging from 27 to 42 days, Asia Collectors' Voyages are perfect for avid explorers seeking a more extensive cruise experience. The voyages combine back-to-back, nonrepeating itineraries and represent the best per-day value for guests.

Holland America Line's extended Legendary Voyages range from 25 to 59 days and combine the ceremony of a Grand Voyage with itineraries that feature a comprehensive collection of ports that enrich the experience in each destination. Most of Holland America Line's Legendary Voyages sail roundtrip or to/from a North American homeport, allowing travelers to see the world from their doorstep with a convenient domestic flight and easy embarkation.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 12.30 + 9.04%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 87.60 + 10.89%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 15.78 + 8.98%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which liner was the favorite of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor for Atlantic crossings during the 1950's? On crossings they would always book the same suites and travel with nearly 100 pieces of luggage and their pug dogs.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
Which famous liner came to the assistance of the Andrea Doria after she was struck by the Swedish liner Stockholm in 1956?

Answer - The French Line transatlantic liner "Ile de France" came to the rescue after the collision between the Italian liner "Andrea Doria" and the Swedish Liner "Stockholm" on July 25, 1956. The collision occured in fog off the Nantucket Shoals. courtesy of Larry MacDonald


Cruise News - May 29, 2023

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas Ups the Ante and Appetite With New, Reimagined Dining
Royal Caribbean International's Icon of the Seas is turning the tables in January 2024 with an unmatched lineup of dining experiences designed for every type of family and vacationer. Travelers with an appetite for adventure can have their pick of more than 20 new and signature ways to dine and make memories, a combination of elevated experiences, spots for quick bites and venues made for families with kids.

From restaurants to walkup windows, casual to upscale, live music to chefs who put on a show, the first-of-its-kind combination of the best of every vacation will feature options for every occasion and mood. On the menu are new venues like the upscale Empire Supper Club, a swanky and lavish eight-course experience; AquaDome Market – Royal Caribbean's first food hall – and Izumi in the Park, an all-day window with fresh sushi and more. The variety of new flavors complement the favorites on board that range from Italian to Japanese and Mexican, including Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, Izumi and El Loco Fresh.

"The experiences had over great food are at the heart of so many shared memories that we could all use more of in our day-to-day. We've designed Icon of the Seas to offer every guest, no matter their tastes, age and mood or the occasion, a variety of ways they can easily make those moments their way every day while on vacation," said Linken D'Souza, vice president, food and beverage, Royal Caribbean International. "If vacationers want to stick to their favorites, like kids and their chicken tenders, or mix it up every night and try new flavors, more than 20 experiences across Icon's eight neighborhoods make that possible – without compromise – more than ever."

Whether it's refueling on the go between the six record-breaking waterslides at Category 6 in Thrill Island or the whole family sitting down for breakfast, lunch or dinner in the Surfside neighborhood designed for young families, there are spots to grab a bite and a drink in and around each of Icon's eight neighborhoods.

Elevated Dining Experiences

• Empire Supper Club – Near the lush Central Park neighborhood, the new experience is an extravagant night out with a taste of old New York. Bringing it to life is an eight-course menu of premium American cuisine, from caviar to wagyu; a drink paired with every dish; a swanky three-piece band playing unexpected renditions of modern favorites; and more.

• Celebration Table – Special occasions and milestones get the VIP treatment at the new 12-seat private experience. Paired with AquaDome's sweeping ocean views, guests can have their choice of exclusive

• American, Italian, Asian and seafood menus, along with the option to add a personal touch with ambient plus-ups and menu upgrades.

• Returning favorites – The good times continue at signature venues like Central Park's American steakhouse, Chops Grille, and Trellis Bar, with its debut menu of bites; the Dining Room, where three levels are matched with three courses; Hooked Seafood in AquaDome; Giovanni's Italian Kitchen & Bar, new to Royal Promenade; the now two-level Coastal Kitchen in the Suite Neighborhood; and the exclusive Chef's Table experience.

Spots for Quick Bites

• AquaDome Market – The lineup at Royal Caribbean's first food hall brings five different stalls and a selection of wines and beer to the table for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Flavors range from sweet and savory crepes at Creme de la Crepe to macaroni and cheese with a twist of tasty toppings at Mac's, to fresh pitas and bowls at Feta Mediterranean, to Asian-inspired treats like Korean beef and broccoli at GNGR, and sandwiches and salads at Toast and Garden.

• Izumi in the Park – The all-day window debuts next to the first Izumi restaurant in Central Park, serving up fresh sushi and street food to go like taiyaki ice cream with Insta-worthy toppings.

• The Pearl Cafe – A new stop for bites day or night, like freshly toasted sandwiches and ready-made salads, the cafe sits between The Pearl and floor-to-ceiling ocean views in Royal Promenade.

• Basecamp – The new spot to refuel between memory-making in Thrill Island, Chill Island and The Hideaway serves drinks and treats like pretzel bites with cheese and crispy shrimp bao buns. For a sweet ending, nearby is Desserted, the new milkshake bar with over-the-top shakes, including adults-only boozy options.

• The Grove – The new al fresco and casual Mediterranean dining option conveniently located on the suite sun deck in the Suite Neighborhood – only steps away from the private pool, whirlpool and cozy spots to hang out.

• Returning favorites – Part of making convenience a staple of the dining lineup on Icon are the fan favorites, including Central Park's Park Cafe – now open in the evening for tapas – El Loco Fresh, the grab-and-go spot for Mexican delights in Chill Island; Sorrento's signature pies and a different specialty pizza for every day of the week in Royal Promenade; and the most expansive Windjammer buffet that offers an equally expansive menu of flavors from around the world, along with a section and selection designed for kids.

Family and Kids-Approved Eats

• Surfside Eatery – The new buffet dedicated to families at the heart of Surfside, the stay-all-day neighborhood for young families, has options for all ages to enjoy at breakfast, lunch and dinner, including twists on kids classics for the grownups.

• Pier 7 – It's about the all-day brunch at this new venue in Surfside, serving up casual California-inspired dishes like surf-and-turf tacos, smoked salmon benedict and sharable platters.

• Surfside Bites – Surfside's pit stop makes maximizing every minute of adventure easy, thanks to the walkup window and its menu of quick snacks like burgers, popcorn chicken, cinnamon-sugar donut holes and more.

• Returning favorites – From bow to stern, the whole family can have their pick from signature options like sushi and hibachi cooked by an expert chef who puts on a show at the Asian-inspired Izumi, Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade for some friendly competition and bar bites, and Sprinkles for ice cream all day and night.

The lineup of new and returning favorites join the recently announced bars and nightlife that will light up Icon, including spots for families like The Lemon Post in Surfside, with a menu for adults and another for kids; and Dueling Pianos in Royal Promenade, the cruise line's first dueling pianos bar.

Starting January 2024, Icon will sail 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean vacations from Miami year-round and visit destinations like Royal Caribbean's award-winning Perfect Day at CocoCay, The Bahamas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Cozumel, Mexico; and Roatan, Honduras.

Viking Announces New Expedition Voyages in the Arctic
Viking today announced three new summer season expedition voyages in the Arctic. Debuting in July 2025, the new itineraries, which range from 13 to 27 days, explore the polar north in Canada and Greenland, with two of the three voyages visiting the Canadian High Arctic.

The 13-day Into the Northwest Passage itinerary sails roundtrip from Nuuk, Greenland and features destinations including the pristine waters of the Ilulissat Icefjord and the eastern entrance of the famed Northwest Passage in Pond Inlet, Canada. Guests can also discover stunning natural beauty and dramatic landscapes during the 15-day Canada & Greenland Explorer itinerary, which sails between Toronto and Nuuk. Those interested in more in-depth exploration can choose a combination of the two itineraries, the new 27-day Canada & the Northwest Passage voyage.

"Our guests are curious travelers who are eager to explore new and different regions of the world, in Viking comfort," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "From the time of Leif Eriksson and the original Vikings, Greenland and the Canadian High Arctic have fascinated intrepid explorers. Today, there is no better way to experience this pristine area of the world than from the comfort of our purpose-built expedition ships."

2025 Arctic Voyages:

Viking's new itineraries in the Arctic include:

• NEW Into the Northwest Passage (13 days; Nuuk to Nuuk) – Discover the diverse landscapes and rugged shores of the world's largest island. Immerse yourself in Inuit traditions as you explore towns dotted with colorful wooden houses. Head out kayaking on the fjord or partake in a Zodiac landing and witness stunning displays of nature, from towering peaks to blue-tinged glaciers. Join Viking on a fascinating voyage exploring the Canadian High Arctic to undiscovered territories beneath the skies of the midnight sun. Sailing dates are available from July through September 2025.

• NEW Canada & Greenland Explorer (15 days; between Toronto, Ontario and Nuuk) – Explore Canada and Greenland's rugged shores on an awe-inspiring journey through one of the most fascinating corners of the world. Sail amid floating icebergs as they drift in blue-tinged waters and witness the wonders of Mother Nature as you immerse yourself in dramatic landscapes. Learn about the Inuit traditions that still thrive in remote communities and experience the stark beauty of the Arctic beneath the skies of the midnight sun. Sailing dates are available in July and September 2025.

• NEW Canada & the Northwest Passage (27 days; between Nuuk and Toronto, Ontario) – Witness the majesty of floating icebergs and rugged lands as you embark on a journey to the Canadian High Arctic and Greenland. View towering icebergs, expansive icefields and deep-blue fjords that are rich in marine life. Get a glimpse of life in Inuit communities and learn about traditions that have sustained for generations. Bask beneath the skies of the endless midnight sun as you join us on a voyage of discovery to far-flung lands. Sailing dates are available in July and September 2025.

Viking is also offering world cruises between the Great Lakes and "the end of the world." The Viking Octantis will begin her epic journey from Milwaukee to Ushuaia on the 70-day Longitudinal World Cruise III in September 2023 – offering guests a variety of impressive travel milestones in a single journey from the heart of North America through engineering wonders like the Welland and Panama Canals, into the Chilean fjords and finally to Antarctica. Similarly, the Viking Polaris will embark on the 71-day Longitudinal World Cruise II from Duluth to Ushuaia in September 2023; she will also sail the 62-day Longitudinal World Cruise IV from Milwaukee to Ushuaia in October 2024. Viking also offers a similar voyage in reverse, from Buenos Aires to Milwaukee, with the 65-day Longitudinal World Cruise I, which embarks in February 2024.

Viking Expedition Ships

The Polar Class Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris host 378 guests in 189 staterooms. The vessels are purpose-built for expeditions, at an ideal size for safety and comfort in remote destinations. With more indoor and outdoor viewing areas than other expedition vessels, guests are as close as possible to the most magnificent scenery on earth.

Bahamas Ministry of Tourism Invites Cruise Passengers to Enjoy Revitalised Nassau Cruise Port
After three years of construction, the reimagined Nassau Cruise Port opens its doors to cruisers sailing to Nassau, the vibrant capital city of the archipelago.

Featuring a sixth berth and new terminal building, the revitalised port is now home to a Junkanoo museum, event and entertainment spaces, a 3,500-seat amphitheatre, a living coral exhibit, local stores and new food and beverage facilities.

"The new Nassau Cruise Port offers a whole new experience for cruise visitors," says the Honourable I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation. "Not only will Bahamian culture shine through all aspects of the port but the completion of the project marks a great milestone in ushering a new era for tourism in downtown Nassau, as well as a beautiful welcome for the millions of cruisers who disembark here each year."

With support from Junkanoo experts Arlene Nash Ferguson and Percy "Vola" Francis, the Nassau Cruise Port Junkanoo Museum is an immersive experience, sharing the story of the destination's national cultural festival. Authentically Bahamian products are on display across 40 retail spaces at the port, including local businesses such as Bahama Hand Prints, Bamboo Shack and much more.

"We anticipate our traffic numbers for 2023 to exceed pre-pandemic levels with about 4.2 million visitors," says Mike Maura, Port Director for Nassau. "Our growth trajectory is quite promising. In 2019, which was the busiest year for us to date, we had 3.85 million visitors. For 2024, we already have 4.5 million confirmations."

Earlier this year, the Nassau Cruise Port set a record-breaking passenger arrival, welcoming 28,554 cruise visitors in one day – a testament to how the cruise industry is an important component to The Bahamas' economy. The new and improved port provides entrepreneurial opportunities for Bahamians in addition to benefiting local businesses, shops and restaurants.

In celebration of the grand opening, the Nassau Cruise hosted a handful of private events on site and a "Cruise Passenger Day Party" on 27 May 2023, inviting passengers to explore the new facilities complete with Junkanoo rushouts.

Holland America Line's 2024-2025 Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific Cruises
Three Holland America Line ships are set to explore the lush landscapes and natural wonders of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific in 2024-2025. From unspoiled islands to cosmopolitan cities, Westerdam will spend the season Down Under, while Koningsdam and Zaandam each offer a longer Legendary Voyage to the South Pacific and Hawaii.

Itineraries up to 58 days include immersive explorations of South Pacific islands and a circumnavigation of Australia

In October 2024 Westerdam sails a westwardly South Pacific crossing, followed by the iconic Australia Circumnavigation. From December 2024 through March 2025, the ship offers a series of 14-day departures roundtrip from Sydney, Australia, or between Auckland, New Zealand, and Sydney. Zaandam's "Tales of the South Pacific" in September 2024 is from Vancouver, Canada, to San Diego, California, or roundtrip San Diego, while Koningsdam's "Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas" in February 2025 is roundtrip from San Diego.

"Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific are iconically beautiful locations, but they have so much more to offer which is why they remain high on the bucket list of travelers who are looking to see the world with the ease of a cruise," said Beth Bodensteiner, Holland America Line's chief commercial officer. "The Australia Circumnavigation itinerary is the most in-depth immersion a cruiser can have of the continent, and many of our Legendary Voyages make it possible to visit distant destinations from a North American homeport. These cruises are among some of the most notable we offer."

Legendary Voyages Linger Longer

Holland America Line's extended Legendary Voyages range from 25 to 59 days and combine the ceremony of a Grand Voyage with itineraries that feature a comprehensive collection of ports that enrich the experience in each destination. Most of Holland America Line's Legendary Voyages sail roundtrip or to/from a North American homeport, allowing travelers to see the world from their doorstep with a convenient domestic flight and easy embarkation.

Highlights of the Australia and New Zealand 2024-2025 Season

• LEGENDARY: The 35-day "Australia Circumnavigation" departing Nov. 17, 2024, sails Roundtrip from Sydney. Westerdam visits 16 ports around the continent of Australia and includes scenic cruising in the Great Barrier Reef, as well as the remote Ribbon Reef and Far North Regions. Guests enjoy overnight calls at Freemantle (Perth), Australia, and Hobart, Tasmania, along with a late-night departure from Adelaide. Beyond Australia, the ship will call at Komodo Island.

• From January through March 2025, Westerdam offers 14-day "Australia and New Zealand" cruises between Auckland and Sydney. The sailings include six ports around New Zealand and a call at Hobart. All itineraries include scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park, and select dates also include Milford Sound.

• A special 14-day "New Zealand Holiday" cruise departing Dec. 22, 2024, is roundtrip from Sydney. Guests spend the holidays exploring six ports around New Zealand, including an overnight call at Wellington. The holiday itinerary also features scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound.

Highlights of the South Pacific 2024-2025 Season

• LEGENDARY: 51- or 56-day "Tales of the South Pacific" voyage aboard Zaandam. The 51-day itinerary is roundtrip from San Diego departing Sept. 30, 2024, while the 56-day cruise is from Vancouver to San Diego departing Sept. 25. The exploration takes a counterclockwise route around the South Pacific, with 20 calls in Hawaii, Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Niue, Cook and Society Islands, Marquesas and Tahiti. Guests have extra time ashore with overnights at Honolulu, Hawaii, and Papeete, Tahiti, as well as late-night departures from Honolulu and Suva, Fiji.

• Westerdam's 23-day "South Pacific Crossing" departing Oct. 24, 2024, is from Seattle, Washington, to Sydney. The Pacific Ocean crossing includes seven ports in Hawaii, New Caledonia, Fiji and American Samoa.

• LEGENDARY: The 35-day "Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas" aboard Koningsdam departs Feb. 15, 2025, and is roundtrip from San Diego. The ship makes four calls in Hawaii and six additional island calls throughout the South Pacific. Overnights include Honolulu, Raiatea, Moorea and Papeete.

• LEGENDARY: Westerdam's 29-day "South Pacific Crossing" departing March 30, 2025, is from Sydney to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Guests discover 12 ports in Hawaii, American Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia. The itinerary offers an overnight at Honolulu, plus late-night departures from Lahaina and Kona, Hawaii; Suva; and Nouméa, New Caledonia.

Book Back-to-Back Cruises with a Collectors' Voyage

Ranging from 43 to 58 days, Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific Collectors' Voyages are perfect for avid explorers seeking a more extensive cruise experience. The voyages combine back-to-back, nonrepeating itineraries and represent the best per-day value for guests.

Oceania Cruises' Senior Culinary Director Alexis Quaretti Inducted into Maîtres Cuisiniers de France
Oceania Cruises, the world's leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line, is proud to announce that Chef Alexis Quaretti, Senior Culinary Director, has been inducted into the prestigious echelons of the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France. Quaretti joins Oceania Cruises' Vice President of Culinary Eric Barale, who served as Quaretti's godfather into the program. As such, Oceania Cruises is the only major cruise line to boast two Master Chefs of France.

The association of Master Chefs of France was established in 1951. Its goal is to support and promote French culinary arts around the world. This mission is embodied by the chef members, as they are ambassadors of French cuisine and culture and are responsible for relaying this heritage to their apprentices.

"It's truly remarkable to have two Master Chefs of France leading our culinary team," said Frank A. Del Rio, President of Oceania Cruises. "Chef Eric and Chef Alexis are both long-standing members of the culinary team, Eric being one of the first members of Oceania Cruises' culinary family and Alexis joining us shortly after in 2004. The palpable kinship and passion throughout the culinary team prove that Oceania Cruises not only serves The Finest Cuisine at Sea but also has the finest culinary team at sea."

"Being inducted into the Master Chefs of France is truly one of the biggest honors of my career, and I sincerely look forward to being part of this prestigious organization," said Alexis Quaretti, Senior Culinary Director at Oceania Cruises. "I have always been proud to represent French culinary ideals and am lucky to be able to bring the best of the best to Oceania Cruises. I would like to thank my friend and colleague Chef Eric Barale for being my godfather throughout the process and providing me with constant guidance and advice throughout my career."

Driven by the desire to make Oceania Cruises a destination for pleasure-seekers in search of one-of-a-kind experiences, Quaretti has created a menu of universal world flavors with his own French expertise and unique fondness for diverse products. His ever-changing menus celebrate the freshest ingredients and are inspired by his home country of France as well as his world travels. As the line's recipe development manager, Quaretti has designed, made and tested every dish served on an Oceania Cruises' ship. He and his talented team create approximately 300 new recipes each year to constantly revitalize and reinvigorate the onboard menus.

Carnival Corporation appoints Paul Ludlow as president Carnival UK and P&O Cruises
Carnival Corporation & plc has announced the appointment of Paul Ludlow as Carnival UK president in addition to his leadership role for P&O Cruises.

In his new consolidated position, Ludlow will assume all commercial and operational responsibility for Carnival UK which includes P&O Cruises and Cunard globally. New Cunard president Katie McAlister, who joins the company in August, will report to Ludlow.

As part of this leadership change, Sture Myrmell will be leaving the business after a long and illustrious career with the company.

Commenting on the changes, Carnival Corporation & plc president, CEO and chief climate officer Josh Weinstein said: "Paul is a 21-year veteran of the company with far-reaching experience across every commercial department and multiple brands in our portfolio of world-class cruise lines. That deep expertise, coupled with Paul's proven leadership and track record of outstanding results, make him the clear choice to support our entire UK organization and to drive our return to strong profitability."

Weinstein added: "I would also like to thank Sture for 30 years of dedicated service. From his start in our company as an officer aboard Cunard, to becoming President, P&O Cruises – Australia, to coming full circle and ultimately leading Carnival UK including the venerable Cunard brand, Sture's dedication and contributions to our company have been significant. We wish him well."

Carnival UK & P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: "There has never been a more auspicious time for our two brands. P&O Cruises continues to deliver outstanding success and is clearly at the forefront of contemporary, mainstream holidays.

"Aligned with global talent including Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzinger, as well as credible, authentic partnerships such as the recent BAFTA Television Awards sponsorship, the future of the brand could not be brighter.

"Next year will be a momentous one for Cunard with the arrival of our new ship and our fourth Queen, Queen Anne, which will once again shine the spotlight on this exceptional brand with its rich legacy. I am confident that the arrival of Katie McAlister to lead the Cunard team will build on the demand for Cunard voyages in the UK and across the world."

Ludlow's role is effective from June 1, 2023.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 11.28 + 0.45%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 79.00 - 1.63%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 14.48 + 1.12%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which famous liner came to the assistance of the Andrea Doria after she was struck by the Swedish liner Stockholm in 1956?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to us using this form

Last Week's Question
When Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas was out on her sea trials she sported a unique entertainment option on her aft decks. This entertainment option never made it past the sea trials. What was this high flying entertainment option?

Answer - A "High Flying" blimp shaped balloon was tethered to her aft decks. courtesy of Richard MacGregory


Cruise News - May 22, 2023

Carnival Dream Assists in Ocean Rescue of 17 People Near Belize
Carnival Dream’s crew helped rescue 17 people stranded in the Belize Channel Wednesday, after the group’s boat capsized. Carnival Dream was heading for Cozumel, Mexico, when the ship’s officers spotted the capsized boat and the group in distress.

Carnival Dream Captain Francesco Fiorentino’s officers and crew immediately alerted the Belize Coast Guard, lowered one of its shipboard tenders into the water in conjunction with local Belize tenders, and helped to rescue all 17 people.

Each member of the group rescued was in good condition before a transfer with the Belize Coast Guard was coordinated.

Carnival Dream resumed its voyage, continuing on to Cozumel as scheduled. The ship departed Galveston, Tex. May 14 for a six-day sailing, and will return May 20.

Princess Cruises Debuts First-Ever Summer Colonial Heritage Voyages
For the first time ever Princess Cruises will offer a series of Colonial Heritage itineraries featuring Yorktown, Va., part of Virginia's Historic Triangle, along with stops at charming and history-rich Charleston, S.C., Boston and Halifax aboard Island Princess sailing round-trip from New York next summer.

In addition, The Love Boat is expanding its popular Canada & New England cruise and cruisetour program offering guests a chance to witness regal trees boasting rich shades of red, purple, orange and yellow, plus colonial history, stunning lighthouses, fresh seafood enjoyed in quaint seaside villages aboard Emerald and Enchanted Princess in 2024. Select cruises also feature stops in three Greenland ports, home to stunning landscapes including magnificent fjords and unique and varied wildlife.

Debuting in 2024, Princess' new summer Colonial Heritage itineraries from New York City are highlighted by the cruise industry's first-ever stops in Yorktown, a historically significant and picturesque town that serves as the gateway to Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. The voyages are a perfect lead up to Sestercentennial celebrations marking the 250th birthday of the United States making this can't-miss sailing for history buffs. Charleston, Boston and Halifax are also included in Island Princess' 10- and 11-day itineraries which take place in June 2024. These voyages go on sale on May 25, 2023.

Princess is also offering a number of "firsts" on its 2024 Canada & New England sailings, including a unique 17-day itinerary aboard Emerald Princess that combines the best of the East Coast with three day-long visits to ports in incredible Greenland, with opportunities to view massive glaciers and experience interesting cultural and sightseeing opportunities. These sailings complement the line's leading fall foliage departures that attract "leaf peepers" the world over with roundtrip seven- to 17-day cruises sailing from Boston, on sale now.

"The upcoming 2024 Canada & New England cruise and cruisetour program is highlighted by the debut of new summer Colonial Heritage voyages with visits to Yorktown and cruises sailing in and out Boston," said John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises. "We know history buffs and seafood enthusiasts are going to love this collection of enticing voyages that tell the story of our American and Canadian history."

The 2024 Canada & New England cruise and cruisetour season includes 27 total departures from Boston, New York, Québec and Ft. Lauderdale, visiting 25 destinations with 11 itineraries, sailing on three cruise ships – Emerald Princess, Enchanted Princess and Island Princess. Voyages include:

Seven-Day Cruises

NEW!: Canada & New England – Emerald Princess – Seven Days: Roundtrip from Boston, visiting Halifax, Sydney (Cape Breton Island), Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island) and Portland. Cruises depart July 14, 21, 28; August 4, 2024.

Canada & New England – Enchanted Princess: Roundtrip from New York, visiting Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor (for Acadia National Park), Halifax and Saint John (for the Bay of Fundy – only on select cruises). Cruises depart August 24, 31; September 7, 14, 21, 28; October 5, 12, 19, 26, 2024.

10-17-Day Cruises

NEW! Colonial Heritage – Island Princess – 10/11 days: Roundtrip from New York visiting Charleston, Boston, Halifax, Newport (on select cruises) and Yorktown. Cruises depart June 4; June 14; June 25, 2024.

NEW! Classic Canada & New England – Emerald Princess – 10 days: From Boston to Québec (More Ashore overnight) with stops in Portland or Rockland, Saint John (for the Bay of Fundy), Halifax, Sydney (Cape Breton Island), Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island) and Saguenay. Cruises depart August 28; September 17; October 7, 2024.

NEW! Classic Canada & New England – Emerald Princess – 10 Days: From Québec (More Ashore overnight) to Boston, visiting Saguenay, Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island), Sydney (Cape Breton Island), Halifax, Saint John (for the Bay of Fundy) and Portland. Cruises depart September 7, 27, 2024.

NEW! Classic Canada & New England – Emerald Princess – 11 Days: From Québec (More Ashore overnight) to Boston, visiting Saguenay, Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island), Sydney (Cape Breton Island), Halifax, Saint John (for the Bay of Fundy) and Portland. Cruise departs July 3, 2024.

NEW! Canada & Colonial America – Emerald Princess – 14 Days: From Ft. Lauderdale to Québec (More Ashore overnight) visiting Charleston, Yorktown, New York City, Newport, Boston, Sydney (Cape Breton Island) and Saguenay. Cruise departs June 19, 2024.

NEW! Canada & Colonial America – Emerald Princess – 14 Days: From Québec (More Ashore overnight) to Ft. Lauderdale, visiting Halifax, Portland, Boston, New York City, Yorktown and Charleston. Cruise departs October 17, 2024.

NEW! Greenland & Canada – Emerald Princess – 17 days: Roundtrip from Boston visiting three ports in Greenland - Nuuk, Qaqortoq and Nanortalik - plus Sydney (Cape Breton Island), Corner Brook, St. Anthony (Newfoundland) and St. John's (Newfoundland). Cruise departs August 11, 2024.

Options for guests wishing to spend more time exploring historic cities and monuments include two in-depth cruisetours, combining a scheduled 2024 cruise with multiple days on land, including:

Historic America Cruisetour – with seven nights on land guests visit U.S. Capital Washington D.C., Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate, Colonial Williamsburg, Independence Hall in Philadelphia and the Gettysburg Battlefield.

The Maple Explorer Cruisetour - brings guests to beautiful Niagara Falls; exciting cities like the capital of Canada, Ottawa, and French-flavored Montréal with guided tours of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, dazzling cathedrals and the historic 19th century Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Carnival Cruise Line Adds Season of ‘Fun Italian Style’ in Port Canaveral
As Carnival Cruise Line prepares to debut its new ‘Carnival Fun Italian Style’ experiences on its latest addition to the fleet, Carnival Venezia, the cruise line is opening future sailings for the ship that include a series of departures from Port Canaveral, Fla. as the ship heads south for winter of 2024-25 like millions of other Northeasterners, before returning to New York in the spring of 2025.

“The sailings we’re opening today will allow us to share this new signature fun with more guests and bring another truly dynamic offering to one of our most popular homeports,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Carnival Venezia’s seasonal operation in Port Canaveral will bring our deployment there to five vessels and give our valued Carnival guests another great option when sailing from Central Florida.”

Carnival Venezia will reposition from New York with a 12-Day Southern Caribbean Carnival Journeys Cruise that departs on Dec. 6, 2024 and visits St. Thomas; St. Croix; Aruba; Curacao and Grand Turk and arrives to Port Canaveral on Dec. 18, 2024. The ship will embark its first guests from Port Canaveral on the same day and depart for a four-day Bahamas cruise, visiting Nassau and Freeport, to kick off its winter series. It will then operate 15 seven-day cruises, rotating itineraries and visiting a variety of popular destinations, as well as sailing two special 14-day Carnival Journeys cruises. After its seasonal deployment in Florida, the ship will return to New York in the spring of 2025.

The following itineraries are examples of the sailings now open for sale on Carnival Venezia from Port Canaveral:

• Week-Long Sailings from Port Canaveral Seven-Day Exotic Eastern Caribbean Cruise departs Dec. 22, 2024 and visits Grand Turk; San Juan, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas. Similar cruise itineraries are also available on five additional departure dates between February and April in 2025.

• Seven-Day Exotic Eastern Caribbean Cruise departs Jan. 5, 2025 and April 27, 2025 and visits Amber Cove; San Juan, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas.

• Seven-Day Exotic Western Caribbean Cruise departs Dec. 29, 2024 as well as Jan. 26, 2025 and March 23, 2025 and visits Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan; Belize and Cozumel, Mexico.

• Seven-Day Western Caribbean Cruise departs Feb. 9, 2025 and March 9, 2025 and visits Nassau, Bahamas; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

• Seven-Day Western Caribbean Cruise departs April 6, 2025 and April 20, 2025 and visits Nassau, Bahamas; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

Special Carnival Journeys Cruises from Port Canaveral

• 14-Day Southern Caribbean Cruise departs Jan. 12, 2025 and visits St. Thomas; Antigua; Dominica; Grenada; Barbados; St. Maarten; St. Kitts and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

• 14-Day Southern Caribbean Cruise departs Feb. 23, 2025 and visits Grand Turk; Aruba; Curacao; Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; Limon, Costa Rica and Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.

The 5,000-guest Carnival Venezia will soon embark its first guests on a 15-day Carnival Journeys transatlantic sailing May 29, 2023 from Barcelona and arrive to her new home at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York City. The ship’s first cruise from New York, a four-day cruise to Bermuda, is set for June 15, 2023. From its New York homeport through December 2024, the ship will operate 10 different cruise durations and 22 unique itineraries featuring visits to 25 ports across 14 countries.

Carnival Venezia is currently undergoing an enhancement project in Spain and will be the first ship to showcase ‘Carnival Fun Italian Style.’ It will debut a slate of fun concepts and experiences influenced by the ship’s Italian design, since it was originally built under Carnival’s sister brand, Costa Cruises, and boasts beautiful architectural features inspired by Venice, Italy that make the ship a unique addition to the Carnival fleet. Guests will find the same warm hospitality on Carnival Venezia that Carnival is known for fleetwide.

Princess Cruises Salutes Tuskegee Airman with Special 100th Birthday Celebration
With a patriotic salute and special celebration, Princess Cruises today welcomed one of the few surviving Tuskegee Airmen onboard Discovery Princess in Seattle as he arrived for his celebratory cruise to Alaska, marking an early commemoration for his 100th birthday. Lieutenant Colonel James H. Harvey III, retired United States Army Air Corps and Air Force officer (USAF), shattered racial barriers in the military as a part of a group of African American pilots who served their country with legendary distinction during World War II.

To honor Harvey, the McChord Field Honor Guard welcomed him and his family aboard Discovery Princess with a USAF traditional display of presenting colors. Topping out the festivities, the Discovery Princess crew presented Lt Col Harvey with a birthday cake while hundreds of the ship's company joined in wishing him a happy birthday.

"It's our sincere honor to celebrate the 100th birthday of Lieutenant Colonel Harvey III, a trailblazer, hero, and real 'Top Gun,'" said John Padgett, Princess Cruises president. "His life and legacy should remind everyone the power of courage, determination, resilience and the American spirit. From all of us at Princess Cruises, we salute Lt. Col. Harvey and wish him a very happy 100th birthday!"

Born in Montclair, New Jersey on July 13, 1923, Harvey is a former fighter pilot with the 332nd Fighter Groups 99th Squadron, best known as the Tuskegee Airmen, "Red Tails," one of 1,007 documented pilots trained for aerial combat during World War II. He is best known as the first African American USAF jet fighter combat pilot to fight in the Korean War and flew 140 missions from 1949 to 1950. Harvey, along with every member of the Tuskegee Airmen, received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2006.

In addition, Harvey won the USAF's very first "Top Gun" competition in 1949, when he and his team lead a grueling 10-day event comprised on aerial gunnery at 20,000 and 12,000 feet, dive bombing, skip bombing, rocketing firing and panel strafing.

After serving a combined 22 years (1943-1965) in the United States Army Air Corps and the United States Air Force, Harvey retired and joined Oscar Mayer as a corporate salesman and settled his family of four girls in Denver, where he still resides.

During the voyage Harvey will share insights from his storied service and remarkable life experiences with other guests as part of a scheduled onboard discussion. Discovery Princess is currently sailing on weeklong, roundtrip cruises from Seattle to Alaska, departing every Sunday through September.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 11.23 + 8.92%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 80.31 + 5.50%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH)<14.8013.05 14.32 + 4.45%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas was out on her sea trials she sported a unique entertainment option on her aft decks. This entertainment option never made it past the sea trials. What was this high flying entertainment option?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person